Gabby Douglas is America's golden girl at the moment, but the Olympic gymnast's mom did not have such a golden year. Natalie Hawkins filed for bankruptcy in January.
Hawkins, the single mother of four from Virginia, filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which allows individuals to reorganize their finances and pay their debts back following a court-approved plan, TMZ first reported. Bankruptcy filings show that Hawkins reported assets totaling $163,706, and about $80,000 in debts, mostly from her mortgage. She receives about $2,500 a month from a combined Social Security disability benefits and child support.
But Hawkins is not embarrassed about her financial situation, which reporters dug up after her daughter won two gold medals at the London Olympics.
"It's my story, it's part of me. I'm not even embarrassed about it," said Hawkins said Sunday to reporters in London. "It shows that even though I didn't like to have to do it, I'm glad there was something there for me to be able to protect my home."
Hawkins has been on medical disability since 2009, and she explained that filing for bankruptcy allowed her to keep her townhouse in Virginia Beach and repay her debts.
Douglas, 16, won an Olympic gold medal in women's gymnastics all-around, making her the first African-American to do so, and another gold medal for the team competition. Standing at only 4'11'', Douglas is known for exceling in the uneven bars, for which she was dubbed the "Flying Squirrel" for how high she soars.
After her individual win on Thursday, Douglas had given praise to God during an NBC interview: "It is everything I thought it would be; being the Olympic champion, it definitely is an amazing feeling. And I give all the glory to God. It's kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to Him and the blessings fall down to me."
Despite the financial setback earlier this year, Hawkins' and Douglas' future looks bright. The smiley gymnast will soon be featured on Corn Flakes boxes and is one of the most popular Olympians to come out of the London Games. With her popularity, she could make millions in endorsement deals.