(Photo: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
Gymnastics' newest cover girl Gabby Douglas may be fielding tweets from A-list celebrities ranging from Oprah to Justin Bieber (and the greatest Olympian of all time Michael Phelps, who said he watched her from the pool!), but before the tweets from the "who's who" of Hollywood were tweets of Bible verses and confessions of faith.
Douglas' latest Bible verse tweet occurred on Friday, the day after her historic Olympic win making her the first African-American and person of color to win the women's gymnastics all-around. She tweeted a verse from Romans 12:19: "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord'" (ESV).
The biblically-inspired tweet came a day after she thanked God in front of millions of viewers Thursday for her second Olympic gold medal during an NBC interview: "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 on me," she said.
Douglas, 16, comes from a devout Christian family. The full name of the 4'11 bubbly teenager, dubbed the "Flying Squirrel" for her soaring on the uneven bars, is Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas. "Her name means, 'God's abled-bodied one.' As you can see, she has lived up to her name," mother Natalie Hawkins explained to the Los Angeles Times back in June.
And God's abled-body she is. She was the underdog going into the women's gymnastics individual all-around event, not even expected to qualify. But she outscored 2011 World Champion and fellow U.S. teammate Jordyn Wieber and made the cut to compete. Then she outshined teammate Aly Reisman, who came in fourth during the women's all-around. Russia's Victoria Komova earned the silver and compatriot Aliya Mustafina the bronze.
Amid the intense pressure and spotlight, Douglas has leaned on Scripture and her Christian faith to keep things in perspective. On Friday, she also tweeted, "Thank you guys for everything! I am SO grateful God has truly blessed me! Remember to ALWAYS give him the glory for he is GREAT!
And a day before the U.S. team won gold, Douglas tweeted July 30: "I believe in God. He is the secret of my success. He gives people talent." And on July 28, she tweeted a verse from Joshua 1:9: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Christian rapper Lecrae – who happens to be one of the favorite music artists of another Christian athlete, Jeremy Lin – sent a tweet to Douglas on August 2: "@gabrielledoug congrats. Glad to hear you meditated on scripture I know how distracting the Village can be."
Christian recording artist Natalie Grant also tweeted an encouraging message to Douglas in late July.
Douglas is scheduled to be featured on Corn Flakes cereal boxes and is being offered many endorsement deals, TV appearances, and magazine interviews after her Olympic wins.