Gabby Douglas’s Mom Wants To Wear The Gold Medal [AUDIO]
Team USA gymnast Gabby Douglas made history on Thursday, at just 16-years-old she is the first African-American woman to win gold in the indivdual women’s Olympic all-around competition. Ryan spoke to Gabby’s mom Natalie Hawkins during “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” shortly before the competition began.
She revealed how Gabby prepares for each performance and what her daughter first said to her after winning the all-around team gold.
What Did Gabby Say After She Won The Gold Medal?
“She said, ‘Mom, we did it! We did it!’ and I said, ‘Yes you did.’ She goes, ‘I got a gold medal at the Olympics!’ I said, ‘You sure did! Can I wear it?’”
On Gabby’s Determination & Drive:
“It’s amazing! I look at what they do, just for instance, in the gym. She will probably crank out about 20 beam routines a day. It’s just phenomenal the work ethic that all the girls have at this level. She’s always been really intense. I remember her as a little girl just trying to learn new skills on her own and she would just keep working at it and keep working at it. So now when I see her doing all her routines at the gym, it doesn’t really surprise me anymore, just because I remember how dedicated she was at seven and eight years old,” Natalie tells us.
How Does Gabby Prepare For Competitions?
“She texts me and we basically just talk about not taking everything too seriously. I tell her, ‘Have fun!’ She’ll say, ‘Ok mom, what other pep talks or what scriptures can you give me,’ because she really loves for me to pump her with scriptures. They really calm her and get her ready and prepared before competition and so I’ll give her a scripture, whatever I have on my heart, and she’ll take it and I tell her to meditate on it, and really that’s basically what we do,” Natalie explains. “And then I just go out there and tell her, you know, time for your game face. Time to go out there and enjoy yourself and enjoy the crowd, enjoy the moment, and so she’s really hyped up today.”
On Watching Gabby Compete:
“It’s nerve wracking at times, but I just think about all the sacrifice and the hard work that she’s put in and that just makes me elated just to be even in the arena, so even though I’m nervous as all get out, I’m just so incredibly happy and so proud of her and everything that she sought to achieve. That’s really where I am, when I’m sitting in the stands I have like the full range of emotions going on, but mostly it’s one of great joy,” she says.
How Did Gabby Get “The Flying Squirrel” Nickname?
“That was at World Championships in Tokyo in 2011. Marta just noticed how she was just flying on her release moves on the uneven bars and said ‘Ah she looks like one of those flying squirrels!’ And the name just stuck.”
You can see more of Gabby—and her mom in the stands—on Monday when the women’s individual event finals air on NBC.