Review of The Gabby Douglas Story on Netflix Instant
You probably remember gymnast Gabby Douglas from the 2012 London Olympics, but how much do you know about her story? She was the first gymnast to win the Individual All-Around and Team competitions in the Olympics and man, does she have a story to tell! If you have Netflix, make sure you watch The Gabby Douglas Story! It’s a family-friendly T.V. movie with an average of 4.3 stars based out of over 15,000 ratings. It was released in 2014 and stars Regina King as Natalie Hawkins (Gabby’s mother), Sydney Mikayla as the young Gabby Douglas, Imani Hakim as the teenage Gabby Douglas and Brian Tee as Coach Liang Chow.
The Story of Gabby Douglas
The film begins with her birth, how she nearly died and the health struggles she faced the first few years of her life. Being the youngest of four children living in Virginia Beach was hard on her parents and her mother especially since her father couldn’t hold a job. She made the hard decision to leave Gabby’s father and moved in with her mother until she could get back on her feet. She taught her kids to “Make today better than yesterday” and this was a family motto that kept all of them going through the years.
Gabby’s older sister had taken some gymnastics classes and taught her everything she knew, but she was too old to focus on gymnastics by the time their mother could afford to begin paying for sports. All of Gabby’s siblings recognized her talent and sacrificed a lot for her so she could continue training and competing. She was 12 when Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin dominated in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and she made up her mind that she was going to train with Liang Chow and win the Olympics. Her mother thought she was crazy since Chow lived in Iowa and she couldn’t afford to send her, but Gabby never gave up.
God was opening doors that Gabby’s family didn’t realize or fully understand. Missy and Travis Parton felt God was calling them to provide a home for a young gymnast who would love to train with Chow. Gabby couldn’t believe it, but felt the sacrifice of leaving her family when her mother turned to fly back to Virginia, leaving her in Iowa. As the only black person in the part of Iowa where she lived for two years, there were many emotional and challenging moments, but her host family was a true Godsend.
Just 210 days before the Olympic trials Gabby nearly gave up on her dream and crushed her mother’s heart. Her older brother played a pivotal role in encouraging her to continue and realizing that her family was with her and fully supporting her.
What Surprised Me About Gabby Douglas
I knew that Gabby Douglas had moved to Iowa for training, but I did not realize her true situation and how her determination moved her forward. The movie shows how her family stood behind her, but she had to push hard to coach with Liang Chow.
How I Rate The Gabby Douglas Story
I give The Gabby Douglas Story five stars and couldn’t stop watching it! I dreamed about becoming a gymnast when I was young and vividly remember the 1996 Summer Olympics with the Magnificent Seven with Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Jaycie Phelps, Kerri Strug, Amanda Borden and Amy Chow. The movie portrayed Gabby and her family well, including her determination and their struggles.
Gabby Douglas’ Accomplishments and Life After the Olympics
Gabby Douglas is a great role model and she has stayed focused on her goal of continuing her Olympic career regardless of the challenges she may face. As one of the Fierce Five with teammates McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross, Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman, Gabby was heavily in the spotlight, but took it all gracefully. Since the 2012 London Olympics, Gabby has had small acting roles and written two books published by Zondervan: Grace, Gold, and Glory (co-authored with Michelle Burford) and Raising The Bar. What I admire most about Gabby is that she has held fast to her faith and I think she realizes how influential she is, especially with young girls.
Faith of Gabby Douglas
Gabby has been very outward about her faith, but not trying to use it in order to gain attention. She is a Christian and has attested to how her faith has helped her through life. In an article with the Religious News Service from 2012 that was published on HuffingtonPost.com, Gabby said that looking back at the footage of the Olympics she was moving her mouth and that was when she was praying. Gabby also took the rain before the competition as a sign that God was getting ready to make big things happen for her. During the Olympics, Gabby was the target of media outlets criticizing aspects of her appearance, especially her hair. Her response was Tweeting Romans 12:19 “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’” (ESV).
I am more than excited to see what Gabby Douglas does next and how her faith continues to move her forward as an athlete.