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Gabby Douglas Reveals Tough Upbringing and Absentee Father

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By Myles Collier , Christian Post Contributor
August 7, 2012|12:21 pm

Gabby Douglas, the American gold medal-winning gymnast, revealed that her father was absent from her life when she was younger, putting her mother and three other siblings in a tough financial situation.

Douglas explained that her father, Air Force staff sergeant Timothy Douglas, left their family many years ago, leaving her mother to raise four children on her own.

"It was really hard for us growing up- my dad had left us, so he wasn't really in the picture anymore," Douglas was quoted by Daily Mail. "So my mom had to front all these bills. My dad didn't really pay the child support. He was short [on money]. It was definitely hard on her part, and she had to take care of me and the rest of my siblings."

Douglas then revealed that even though she had won two gold medals, including becoming the first African-American to win gymnastics all-around Olympic gold, he managed to show up at the U.S. gymnastics trials in June.

Douglas was seen in the crowd holding a banner that read "Go Gabby Douglas, Love, Dad." His cheering for his daughter caught her attention.

"I'm like, 'Who's calling my name?' And then I look up," Douglas explained to The Des Moines Register. "It was my dad and his friend, and I haven't seen him in a while. They were holding up the flag. And I almost felt like bawling. I was like, 'Oh, my gosh, Dad!"

"I just missed her so much," Timothy Douglas told the paper. "It's just so thrilling what's going on."

During the uneven bar event on Monday, Douglas faltered. After a strong uneven bar performance that secured her the all-around gold, she was expected to have a good showing in the event, but finished in last place.

She does have a chance to when a third gold today when she participates in the beam competition to in what will be her last event of the Olympics.

"Toward the end of the Olympics, you get physically tired and drained. And no matter how much rest you have, your body is tired," she told reporters after the uneven bar final.

"I made a little mistake, but I'm human ... I don't know, you just get to mentally, you're just so tired … I'm going to go into the beam finals and try really hard to end on a good note," Douglas said.

 

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