Print and Go Back

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Gabby Douglas: My mom knows best

By espnW

Had it not been her mother, Gabby Douglas might never have worn a gold medal. Instead, she might be asking customers, "You want waffle fries with that?"

"I wanted to give up gymnastics and work at Chick-fil-A. I was determined to give any excuse to my mom and my coaches and my siblings that I didn't want to do gymnastics anymore. Sorry. And I was very homesick [when I moved to Iowa to train]. I mean, my family visited me for Christmas, and it went by so fast, and by the time I knew it, they were packing up, leaving from the hotel, going back to Virginia, and I wanted to go with them. But I'm so glad I toughed it out.

"My coaches and siblings and my mom told me, 'You're almost there. The Olympics is right around the corner. Just keep fighting and don't give up.'

"I always get very good advice from my mom. I mean, she's a fighter and she's always worked very hard and gets after what she wants and she taught me to do the same thing. Go get what's yours. So she tells me to go out there, have fun and she always sends me scriptures and motivational quotes saying, just believe in yourself. Just trust in yourself. All you have to do is just grab it. I mean, you have the talent. It's just all you have to do is just go out there and perform and just grab it.

"I dreamed about being on top and being in this position, but I never really knew what to expect. I mean, we always dream about it, but we never know what the outcome's gonna come out. ... So, being in this spot right now is great.

"I was so honored to go to the Olympics and compete and even be the first African American to win the individual all-around. I wanted to quit, but I'm so glad that everyone around me supporting me told me to stick with the sport and that you can do it.

"I went through some very tough times, but it's life; it's normal, and we all go through it. And it was not easy. Sometimes it was very hard; some days were very easy. But at the end of the day, it was all worth it. I mean, me moving to Iowa to train with Coach Chow and going through injuries, pushing myself, was all definitely worth it.

"I'm looking forward to the future, like 2016, hopefully I make the Olympic team then, and just getting back into training, get back into shape, learning new routines and a new floor routine. I don't know what that's gonna be like. So I'm very stoked for the challenges ahead of me and just going to competitions and getting that Olympic feeling back in me and back in, back in my blood and going back out on the floor and just competing."