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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 2: Congrats Gabby!


A huge smile spread across my face as I read the headline. Secretly, I knew she would. Prior to this year's Olympic games, I couldn't point out the 16-year-old gymnast from Virginia Beach, VA but after today, I'm sure I'll see her bright face and infectious smile plastered on billboards and posters all over. This is a proud moment in black history and I'm even more proud to be a young black woman in America.

As the only African-American on a team of five gymnasts, Douglas fought hard to win big for our country and she wasn't even the favorite (teammate Jordyn Wieber was picked to win). I hate that I was unable to watch the final competition this morning but I did have the chance to see Douglas and her teammates compete earlier this week and they were all very impressive. I sat, glued to my over-sized couch, watching in amazement as these young girls contorted their bodies every which way. The sport of gymnastics is truly an amazing art form.

Between events for the gymnastics competition is where I became familiar with Douglas. Since the young age of six, she has been training for this very moment. She even took it a step further, moving halfway across the country at the age of 14 to train with Liang Chow, known for breeding Olympic champions. Her family stayed in Virginia while she lived with a host family in West Des Moines, IA to prepare herself for the 2012 games. I completed undergrad a few hours away from West Des Moines so I am very familiar with the culture shock she experienced. At 14, I don't know that I could have done it.

Though it may not seem like it, the African-American culture has made some great strides in history and this day is just another footprint in the sand. While watching the coverage earlier this week, I couldn't help but be overjoyed that there were black people competing--and winning! The nerve! 

I can only imagine how proud the Douglas family is of their champion but I do know that she has inspired an entire race of people on this day. GREAT JOB Gabby on winning the GOLD!

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