All Articles Tagged "Gabby Douglas"

Gabby Douglas And Zendaya Coleman Graduate From The Same High School

June 12th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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It’s graduation season, and two of our favorite teens are officially high school graduates. Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas, 19,  and actress Zendaya Coleman, 18, received their diplomas from Oak Park High School Thursday.

Shortly after the ceremony, where according to TMZ actor Bob Newhart was the commencement speaker, Douglas rushed to catch a flight.

“Not gonna lie. It was tough to balance school and gym.. but i did it!” she exclaimed on Instagram, “kno when u set ur mind to achieve something u can do it. anddddd yes I’m at the airport gotta get right back to the grind love u guys.”

Coleman also took to the photo sharing site with a celebratory/inspirational message, writing:

“Shout out, not just to all the 2015 grads but to the soon to be! Please remember knowledge is one of the most powerful gifts we have the privilege of receiving…don’t take that for granted. To every soon to be grad, know that you CAN do it! (if I can get through it then anyone can) It’s a long road, so many things will pose as obstacles in your way and at times the end seems further and further away, but please remember the importance of that beautiful mind you have and all the limitless powers you hold. All my love #sorryforgettingdeep.”

According to E! Online, both starlets attended the Oak Park Independent School, where they were provided with flexible schedules to accommodate their work itineraries.

Congrats to these beauties!

Gabby Douglas & Family Snag New Oxygen Reality Show

April 2nd, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas is heading to a small screen near you. According to The Associated Press, the 19-year-old and her family are set to star in a new series titled “Douglas Family Gold.”

The Oxygen program will be co-produced by Gabby and her mom Natalie Hawkins and will document her journey as she sets out to defend her title at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. “Douglas Family Gold” was one of 8 new series to be announced by the network this week.

“The bi-coastal Douglas family shuttles between California and Ohio to support Gabby’s training regimen while also juggling their own lives,” Oxygen explained in a press release.

Gabby’s brother, John, who will appear on the series, also hopes to compete in the Olympics in track and field. The gymnast’s two sisters Arie and Joy and her momager have also been tapped to star in the family show.

Two summers ago at the Espys, Gabby played with the idea of starring in a reality show during an interview with Cambio. However, at the time, she seemed more open to competitive shows like “Dancing with the Stars and “Survivor.”

Will you be tuning in?

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ICYMI: Check Out “The Gabby Douglas Story” Trailer

January 28th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Ivan Nikolov/

Ivan Nikolov/

If you spent part or a majority of your weekend watching Lifetime movies then you’ve probably seen the trailer the network released for their upcoming weekend movie,  “The Gabby Douglas Story.” But, if you a.) don’t have cable, b.) don’t watch Lifetime because it sucks you in and steals your Saturday or c.) your tv was stolen like mine was, (another story for another day), then you might have missed the trailer. And  you don’t deserve that, so we’re making sure you get a chance to watch it here.

We’ve known this movie was coming to the small screen since the fall, and have kept you updated with casting news. But in case you need a refresher, Regina King will be playing Gabby’s mother, S. Epatha Merkerson will play her grandmother and Imani Hakim, (Tonya from “Everybody Hates Chris”) will play the role of the teenage Douglas. And apparently, judging from the trailer Douglas herself will make an appearance.

This is already pulling at my heartstrings. So excited.

Check out the trailer in the video below.

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“The Gabby Douglas Story” will air on Lifetime, Saturday, February 1 at 8/7c.

Lifetime To Kick Off Black History Month With ‘The Gabby Douglas Story’

January 8th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Gabby Douglas

Source: WENN

Over the summer we told you that a movie about the life of Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas was in the works. Since our initial report, there have been many new wonderful revelations, including the fact that women’s television network Lifetime has agreed to pick up the biopic.

In case you missed it, “Everybody Hates Chris” star Imani Hakim has been cast to play Douglas in the film. The film’s cast also includes Regina King, Epatha Merkerson, and Sidney Mikayla. As previously reported, “The Gabby Douglas Story” will share the inspiring tale of the teen Olympian’s journey to becoming the first African American to be named individual All-Around Champion in the Olympics.

“‘The Gabby Douglas Story’ tells the inspiring true story of the international gymnastics phenomenon who overcame overwhelming odds to become the first African-American ever to be named Individual All-Around Champion in artistic gymnastics at the Olympic Games,” reads the film’s press release.

Lifetime will be kicking off Black History Month by airing “The Gabby Douglas Story” on Feb. 1. According to Shadow and Act, the network will also be airing the television adaptation of “A Trip to Bountiful” on Feb. 22. We’ll definitely be tuning in. Will you?


Guess Who’s Playing The Lead In The Gabby Douglas Biopic?

December 30th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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gabby douglas biopic

This past fall, we told you that Lifetime had approved the making of the Gabby Douglas biopic. As much as the nation, and particularly black women love Gabby Douglas, it’s important that the casting for this film be perfect. And from the looks of things, Lifetime might be on the right track.

Imani Hakim, best known for her role as Tonya Rock in the series “Everybody Hates Chris” will play the part of a the teenage Douglas in “The Gabby Douglas Story” (a working title). As you might assume, the movie will tell the inspiring story of Douglas overcoming obstacles to become the first African American to be named individual All-round Champion in artistic gymnastics at the Olympics.

Sydney Mikayla (“Little in Common” and “Beautiful Soul”) will play Douglas as a young girl and rounding out the cast will be Regina King as Douglas’ mother and S. Epatha Merkerson as her grandmother.

“The Gabby Douglas Story” is set to air on Lifetime in February 2014.

With names like this attached to this project, I’m sure this movie will be one to watch. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as details surface.

Will you tune in?

Happy, Black Girl News: Lifetime Says Yes To Gabby Douglas Biopic

September 16th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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It’s a go! Lifetime, who has debuted more original movies of black people recently than black television networks will be  releasing a biopic of two-time Olympic gold medalist winner, Gabby Douglas.

The movie will unfold the life of Gabby as a child , where she began to formally train as a gymnast at the age of 6 years old. Actress Sydney Mikayla will be Douglass as a child and Imani Hakim will act as teenage Gabby who eventually becomes a member of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team during the 2012 Summer Olympics. It was during the Summer Olympics, Gabby won both gold medals in the individual and team competitions.

Regina King is set to star in the biopic as Gabby’s mother and S. Epatha Merkerson will act as her grandmother, as well.

The film will be produced by Sony Pictures TV and its director will be Gregg Champion who directed Lifetime’s “Amish Grace”. No date has been mentioned for the  film release  but fans should expect to view it in 2014.

Are you excited to learn more about the Olympic winner ?

A Gabrielle Douglas Movie? Yes Please! New TV Movie In The Works

August 16th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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gabrielle douglas movie

Source: WENN


Looks like the Gabrielle Douglas movie  is coming to a television screen near you. Many of us watched in a combination of glee and pride as Gabby tumbled her way into the history books becoming the first African American gymnast to win an individual all-around Olympic gold medal. And now, according to The YBF, producers are bringing her inspiring story to the screen as a tv movie.

You may remember that Gabby’s life has not always been easy. Being raised by a single mother, Gabby chose to live with a new family in order to continue her training. It all paid off as the then 16 year old was catapulted into stardom, complete with cereal box covers, a book she authored, numerous media appearances and now a tv movie.

The movie, tentatively called “The Gabby Douglas Story” is set to start shooting September 9 through October in Winnipeg, Canada. It will be produced by Zev Braun, Phillip Krupp, David Rosemont. Gregg Champion will direct and Tracy Twinkie Byrd, the woman who cast films like Stomp The Yard, Notorious, Jumping The Broom, Sparkle and Fruitvale Station will serve as the project’s casting director.

Sounds promising! Who should play the role of Gabrielle?

Madison Avenue Targets Blacks: Gabby Douglas And Mae Jemison Tapped For Major Campaigns

April 29th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Are things changing in the advertising world? Just last year many complained of the lack of advertising targeting the African-American community. Now comes news that two new major campaigns have hired black women as spokespeople, reports Target Market News.

Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas has been tapped by McDonald’s to promote its newest menu addition — the egg-white breakfast sandwich, an addition that aims to counter some of the healthy eating complaints the company has come up against. Rather than being featured in ads, Douglas will promote the new breakfast item at the restaurant chain’s events. (Total aside, Gabby’s on TODAY this morning talking about her new book and getting back to the gym.)

By utilizing Douglas, McDonald’s also hopes to increase spending by blacks at the chain. According to The Buying Power of Black America, of the $22.4 billion all black households spent eating out in 2011, more than 11% ($2.6 billion) was spent on breakfast meals. This was an increase of 9% from 2010.

Photo: Denver Louis

Photo: Denver Louis

And home furnishings giant Simmons Bedding Company has hired Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut, to be part of a major forthcoming ad campaign. We recently spoke with Jemison at SXSW about leading the 100 Year Starship project , which will focus on sending and sustaining humans in interstellar space travel within the next 100 years.

Jemison may seem like an odd choice for a mattress company, but the campaign will mark the first national television advertising endeavor for a line of bedding, the Comforpedic line from Beautyrest, a “memory foam” bed for “those in the know,” Target Market News says.

According to Target Market News, it is a smart move for the company to use Jemison. Once again quoting the Buying Power of Black America report, black homes spent $4.6 billion on furniture in 2011, with $846 million spent on mattresses and box springs.

Popularity And “Pretty” Contest: How Does Olympic Boxer Claressa Shields Win Gold But Not Receive One Endorsement?

April 1st, 2013 - By Charing Ball
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Derrick Salters/

Derrick Salters/


In her eight-year boxing career, Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields has never lost a single match and yet she still gets no respect. From Mother Jones:

Maybe you remember Claressa “T-Rex” Shields: At 17, she was the youngest boxer in last summer’s Olympics, the first games to ever let women spar. Aggressive, spunky, and intensely focused, she trounced a Russian opponent twice her age in the finals to return home to Flint, Michigan, with a gold medal. “I wrapped it around my hand when I went to sleep,” Shields says. “I had this fear that when I woke up the medal was going to be silver.” Yet unlike fellow gold medalist Gabby Douglas, the teen gymnast who is expected to rake in $8-$12 million from sponsorships, Shields has received no national endorsement deals (though a local car lot gave her a custom black and gold Camaro). “I think because women’s boxing is new, I guess,” she says. “I don’t really know.”

If you have missed seeing Shields fight at the Olympics – or anywhere else for that matter- please stop reading right now and go search YouTube for some of her previous performances. The girl is phenomenal. And no shade to Gabby Douglas, but while we were, and still continue to, celebrate one little black girl’s historic achievements in one sport, we totally forgot about another black teen girl, about the same age as Douglas, who too made history at the Olympics. Not only is she the first African-American woman to win gold in boxing, but the first woman, period. Like Douglas, she too has an equally compelling story about adversity and triumph, including being both a black youth from inner city Detroit and a survivor of sexual assault. But yet and still you tell me that Shields has not been asked to cover one Wheaties box? Not to sound like an alarmist, but I really do believe that it is a national embarrassment that this young gladiator, who has worked hard, and with success, in service of our country is not reaping the financial benefits.

As Shields humbly said in the Mother Jones article, women’s Olympic boxing is pretty new, which might explain her lack of endorsements, however, but at least one boxer has managed to capture the attention of corporate America. Fellow women’s boxer and 2016 Olympic hopeful Mikaela Mayer recently became Dr. Pepper’s official spokesperson. In the soft drink’s television commercial, Mayer, who prior to boxing used to work as a full-time model says, “Millions of girls are told they’re pretty, but not many end up becoming a model. And even fewer decide to put their face in front of someone who wants to rearrange it. And now, instead of fighting for a cover shot, I’m Mikaela Mayer and I’m one of a kind.” Indeed, Mayer is one of a kind. Not only is she a beautiful former model but she is also a serious contender in the women’s boxing world. According to Team, Mayer has a laundry list of boxing achievements including being the 2011 National Golden Gloves Champion, being a gold medalist at the 2012 AMBC Continental Championships, and holding a bronze medal at the 2012 AIBA World Championships.

But despite the impressive resume and pretty much being favored to win a spot on the US Women’s boxing team, her bronze medal at the 2012 AIBA ended her bid to compete in the first Olympic boxing competition for women. Guess who did make the squad in 2012? Shields. And she won a gold medal. According to the Mother Jones article, Shield is currently training for not only the USA Boxing National Championship but the Rio Olympics in 2016, where she will be defending her current world title. She is also preparing for college. To borrow words from Mayer and Dr. Pepper, I definitely think that makes Shields “one of a kind.” But to simply bypass the first champion of an inaugural Olympic sport in favor of another athlete, who while accomplished, has not proven herself at the level of Shields, is bewildering to me. I mean, would you do a television commercial with the runner up of the Miss America beauty pageant? I think not.

We’ve seen this scenario played out many times before in women’s sports. If you’ll recall, during the 2012 Olympic games, Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells, silver and bronze medalists spoke openly about having their stories trampled over while the media hype machine favored Lolo Jones, who only placed fourth at the Olympic hurdles race. In an interview with NBC Sports, Harper said this of the virgin/model/sprinter:

“I feel I had a pretty good story — knee surgery two months before Olympic trials in 2008, to make the team but 0.007, not have a contract … working three jobs, living in a frat house, trying to make it work. Coming off running in someone else’s shoes getting the gold medal. Uhhh, I’d say I was pretty interesting. Coming from East St. Louis…I just felt as if I worked really hard to represent my country in the best way possible, and to come way with the gold medal, and to honestly seem as if, because their favorite didn’t win all of sudden it’s just like, ‘Were going to push your story aside, and still gonna push this one.’ That hurt. It did. It hurt my feelings. But I feel as if I showed I can deal with the pressure, I came back, and I think you kinda got to respect it a little bit now.”

Harper and Wells thought their medals would earn them respect, but instead they were labeled and dismissed as haters. And that’s a pity considering that they had a legitimate point: It takes a considerable amount of dedication and sacrifice in order to rise to the level of Olympic athlete. Harper was not lying when she said she lived in a frat house – it was the only thing that she and her husband, who too is an Olympic athlete, could afford while training full-time for the 2008 games in which she won her gold medal in the 100-meter hurdles. So I can imagine that for athletes like Harper, who have reached the highest degree, an Olympic gold should warrant a few chances to recuperate, if not profit, off of all the time, energy, physical health and personal money you put into this mission. From a personal perspective, I can’t imagine slaving away on a project at work and have my supervisor come along and give accolades to another employee, who didn’t carry the project to fruition, all because my boss likes him/her better.

It is kind of depressing that even in the world of women’s sports – a place that implies some sort of exclusion from sexist influence – standard troupes of femininity, over skill and accomplishments, still matter in what is marketable. Not only are athletes like Shields, Harper and Wells being shut out of opportunities to capitalize off of their hardwork, but athletes like Mayer, Jones and in some respects, Gabby Douglas are being paraded around by both the media and corporate advertising as some sort of poster children for what a female athlete is supposed to look like. And that suggests to me that the general public still can not fully take women in sports seriously. I mean, how can we celebrate these women for breaking barriers and making history in the world of sports while using the other hand to reinforce subtle messages that your personal appeal, more than likely physical, will always trump your talent?

Take Two: Teen Olympic Gold Medalist Gabrielle Douglas To Release Second Memoir

March 15th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Anton Oparin /

Anton Oparin /

Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas isn’t taking any time off. She has been on a hectic schedule since the Olympic Games in 2012. Besides all the interviews she published her memoirs. Now she has announced she is set to publish a second memoir—yes, part two.

Though not yet 18, she still has lots to talk about it seems, and her second memoir will hit the stores next month, according to publisher Zondervan (via Yahoo).

The 17-year-old, who was a gold medalist in both the team and individual all-around gymnastics competitions, will publish Raising the Bar, the follow-up to her 2012 best-selling memoir Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith, on April 30. That book debuted at number four on The New York Times Young Adult Bestseller List.

This time around, she is taking readers behind-the-scenes look into her life, including color photos, personal stories, and details on the athlete’s present-day life — from walking red carpets and appearing on TV shows such as The Vampire Diaries while also juggling friends, family, and training.

Obviously, it’s not the life of the typical teen. But it will give some insight, says the publisher, into the dedication and responsibilities of an athlete of Douglas’s caliber. Douglas was recently named Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press.

Douglas began training at age six and made history last year when she became the first U.S. gymnast to take home a team and an individual gold medal in the same games. And she was first African-American to win the individual gold.