Christian gymnast Gabby Douglas has quickly emerged as one of the biggest stars at the London Olympics. This all-star athlete is the first U.S. gymnast to ever capture team and individual all-around gold at the Olympic Games. But that’s not all. Her victory also makes her the first African-American woman to ever win the gold medal in the Women’s Gymnastics All-Around competition. At just 16 years old, Douglas is certainly making her mark on Olympic history.
Between her immense win, glowing attention from the media and a slew of endorsement offers, you would think that Douglas’ head is swelling to the size of London’s famous Big Ben clock. Athletes do after all need to have a supreme level of confidence in their abilities and talents (which can sometimes lead to arrogance). However, Douglas chooses to give all of her glory to God.
Following her emotional win at the Women’s Gymnastics All-Around competition, the tiny teen (Douglas’ athletic bio lists her at 4’11’’) gave an interview with NBC and choose to honor God in that moment instead of herself. “It is everything I thought it would be; being the Olympic champion, it definitely is an amazing feeling,” she told the network. “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.”
Douglas’ testimonials for Christ don’t stop at media interviews though. She has also Tweeted about her love for God by saying things like, “Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things He does for me.”
Douglas, a Virginia native, does have a pretty good reason to give praise though. She wasn’t expected to earn a spot on the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team, and only did so after competing in the American Cup tournament last March as an alternate. It was at that tournament that she outscored the favorite on the U.S. Gymnastics team, Jordyn Wieber, and claimed her spot at London’s Olympic Games. Now that’s a reason to give thanks!
Douglas is also praising God for the monetary windfall that her Olympic win will bring to her financially struggling family. According to the Des Moines Register, Douglas’ parents are in the midst of a divorce and her mother recently claimed bankruptcy. Without much money coming in from her parents, Douglas has taken it upon herself to support her family. “I just have to learn how to save it and control myself,” she said. “I wasn’t the richest kid on the block and my family struggled a little bit. We went through some very tough times. …But I’m so happy that I stuck with it and can bring my family out of the financial situations.”
Because of the way Douglas treats her family and holds herself with such grace while under scrutiny, something tells us that she would give thanks to God whether she’s standing on the podium at the Olympic Games, or standing on a balance beam while training in her hometown. And it’s that kind of attitude that has likely propelled her toward her all-star status at the Olympic Games.