Golden Gabby has found her way into the hearts of America. The Olympic gymnast made history by becoming the first African-American to win the all-around individual title.
“Tonight, I was just cruising and now I’m on Cloud 9,” Gabby said of her gold medal achievement.
The teen dynamo has wowed the world not only with her growing collection of gold medals – but there’s also her grace, her incredible smile and bubbly personality. Plus, like all great athletes, there’s a loving force behind this 16-year-old, leading her to be a winner on and off the mat.
The winning force is Gabby’s mom, Natalie Hawkins, who is watching her daughter’s every move from the stands.
“I am so incredibly proud of Gabrielle. It still hasn’t sunk with her or with me the magnitude of what has happened. We are all still trying to process it. We had hoped her dream would come true and the fact that it has is surreal,” revealed Natalie in the P & G Family Home in London.
Procter & Gamble has set up a “home away from home” for Team USA moms to relax and be part of their son or daughter’s Olympic journey.
And, as most athletes will attest, if it weren’t for their parents and their sacrifices, most Olympic dreams would never come true.
This is especially true for Gabby. Her mother, Natalie, after her daughter’s pleas for a better gymnastics couch, agreed to send her daughter to Iowa to live full time with another family and be able to train with renowned trainer Liang Chow.
“It was the best decision I could have made for her gymnastics career. It was so hard. But it was right,” Hawkins has said.
Before Thursday’s competition, Gabby’s mom sent her motivational quotes and told her the competition would be won, not with her bars routine, but with her mind.
“I told her to keep her head together. And she did. I was so proud of her. She competed like a true champion,” Natalie revealed to ESPN.
After the Olympics, Gabby will continue to live in Iowa and train, but for now, Gabby’s mom is looking forward to spending quality time with her daughter.
“We just want to celebrate as family and let her know how much we love her,” exclaims Natalie!
For more stories on Team USA moms, check out P & G Thank You, Mom Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thankyoumom.
-- Terri MacLeod