The Inspirational Biopic of a Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist
Starring Regina King, Imani Hakim,
Sydney Mikayla & S. Epatha Merkerson
Sydney Mikayla & S. Epatha Merkerson
"On April 15, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will present the inspirational story of two-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas when Lifetime’s The Gabby Douglas Story debuts on DVD. Starring in this uplifting biopic is Sydney Mikayla (TV’s “Whitney”) as the younger Douglas and Imani Hakim (TV’s “Everybody Hates Chris”) as the teenage Olympian, along with Regina King (TV’s “Southland”) and S. Epatha Merkerson (TV’s “Law & Order”) as mother and grandmother respectively. Perfect for family viewing, The Gabby Douglas Story recounts how this young African-American athlete overcame numerous obstacles to not only make the 2012 U.S. Women’s Gymnastic team, but also go on to win two Olympic gold medals. Featuring gymnastic scenes performed by Douglas herself, The Gabby Douglas Story is an inspiring example of how dedication and sacrifice can empower men and women of all ages to strive for their dreams.
The Gabby Douglas Story is directed by Gregg Champion (TV’s “Amish Grace”), teleplay by Maria Nation and story by Sterling Anderson and Maria Nation. The film debuted on Lifetime Feb. 1.
A prodigy from a very young age, Gabby Douglas won numerous state gymnastics championship titles in her age group throughout her early competitive career. Although Gabby and her family faced economic challenges at home she made the difficult decision to move to Iowa, to train with renowned coach Liang Chow to pursue her dream of Olympic glory. Buoyed by her early success, dedication, faith and unyielding love from her family, Gabby made it to the 2012 Olympics in London. Her sacrifice and perseverance were triumphantly rewarded with Team Competition and Individual All-round gold medals, placing Gabby and her teammates – known as “The Fierce Five” -- among the world’s all-time greats in gymnastics.
The Gabby Douglas Story has a run time of approximately 86 minutes and is not rated."
Did you catch "The Gabby Douglas Story" when it aired on the Lifetime Channel earlier this year? Well, if you missed this movie which chronicles Olympic gymnast, Gabby Douglas' struggles to get to being a gold medalist, then you can catch it when it arrives on DVD on April 15th.
Growing up, I used to do gymnastics and was a huge gymnastics fan. I loved watching Mary Lou Retton compete and do exhibition shows, and then the Magnificent 7, including Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Dominique Dawes and Kerri Strug, were all the buzz during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. I don't know about you, but it was hard to top this team of elite women gymnastics. And, as such, I found it hard to fall in love with future gymnast teams, as they didn't carry a spark, like these girls had.
But, while watching the recent Summer Games, I found myself rooting for Gabby Douglas. And, while I didn't know her back story, I could only imagine what she and her family had to sacrifice for her to get where she was, competing for gold with her team, as well as in the individual all-around competition. Knowing the back history of gymnasts from early years, I know many move away from home to train at top gymnastic training centers, oftentimes leaving family and friends behind. And, their training schedules are crazy, as they live and breathe gymnastics 24/7.
I was excited to watch Gabby complete and come home with the gold in the all-around, as well as with her "Fierce Five" teammates for the team all-around. Upon her winning gold, fans of Gabby's started to hear about her struggles and the obstacles that they had to overcome to be the best in the world.
It was only a matter of time before a movie about Gabby Douglas' life was made. While she is only 17 yrs. old, her story is inspirational, especially for younger girls. And, thanks to the Lifetime Channel, they brought Gabby's story to the masses, with this made for television movie.
The movie centers around struggles Gabby faced with her mom, coach, and making the decision like many elite gymnastics to move away to train. There were times she wanted to quit the sport, as well as financial hardships with her family supporting her dreams. I was surprised to learn that Gabby's family was also homeless for a brief period.
This heartwarming story is perfect like I said for young girls, as it lets them see Gabby's determination and drive to be the best she could be and never giving up, even though she wanted to on a few occasion. Her drive and perseverance is really moving, and makes you appreciate her as an athlete as well a young teenager.
Like most Lifetime Channel movies, I was brought to tears during a few scenes, including real Olympic footage of Gabby Douglas competing. While some thought that it was too soon to bio pic this young athlete's life and story, I have to disagree, as I don't see many film out there that can be enjoyed by families and young girls, that shared just a positive message of determination. Fans of gymnastics will love this story, and parents of young girls will love sitting down to share this moving story with their children and talk about their goals and dreams, and how anything is possible, if you put your heart and soul into it.
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Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.