Gabby’s dad, Air Force Staff Sergeant Timothy Douglas, was front and center to see his daughter perform recently and only missed some of the performances because he was off serving his country in Afghanistan.
While across the world, Mr. Douglas would dig up YouTube videos in order to see his daughter in action. He recently flew to California with his friends just in time to catch Gabby at the Olympic Trials. He arrived with a large American flag with the words, “Go Gabby Douglas, Love, Dad.”
Gabby described her reaction to USA Today.
“I’m like, ‘Who’s calling my name?’ And then I look up. It was my dad and his friend, and I haven’t seen him in a while,” Gabby said. “They were holding up the flag. And I almost felt like bawling. I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, Dad!’ “
Mr. Douglas talks about how excited he was when he saw his daughter make the Olympic team.
“There’s an exuberance. There’s a feeling that you can’t describe,” hesaid. “Sometimes, when she had a rough time, I’d tell her to hang in there. ‘You know what it takes to be a winner, you know what your goals are. You just keep on your goals.’ Some things that I tell her I have to remind myself. Those are all things we can all abide by.”
Gabby talked about how there were times when she worried about her father being in a warzone. She would try to email and Skype him when she could. He hasn’t been able to be in her presence since late 2010, but he’s glad to be with her now. Gabby’s dad also has fond memories of when she first started to compete in gymnastics.
“We knew (gymnastics) was in her heart because one day she came home from the gym and she had a 102-degree temperature,” her father said. “She went to bed, slept it off and woke up and got back in the gym the next day. That’s when we knew she had a winner’s attitude, a winner’s spirit.”
I don’t think that it’s an accident or a coincidence that Gabby’s dad really has not been mentioned at all. And on TV they keep reiterating that her mother is a single mom as if her dad is completely out of the picture. Just to keep up with the black dad’s ain’t about nothing stereotype.
When we white folks have stories like this, they’re called “human interest” and the media can’t get enough of them.