Gabby Douglas's Gary, Ind., family celebrates gold medal

August 3, 2012 4:19:02 PM PDT
Area relatives of U.S. Olympic gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas are celebrating her big win in London.

Gabby Douglas has a grandfather and other relatives in Gary, Indiana.

The 16-year-old Olympic gold medalist's family gathered Thursday night at a Gary sports bar and watched her take the floor.

On Friday, the family was still celebrating her win.

Although they could not be in London to see her up close, they raised money selling items including T-shirts so that Douglas' siblings and mother could go overseas to cheer her on.

Olympic champion Gabby Douglas is an inspiration for everyone in her family, including her cousin, Alana Griffin, 11, who wants to be just like her.

"I feel gabby will make it again," said Alana Griffin. "She will be better than ever."

'Awesome' is the word other family members keep using to describe the gold medal winner. Her grandfather, Theodore Hawkins, says his youngest grandchild knew she wanted to be a gymnast at an early age and that all of her hard work has paid off.

"She is a gold medalist; she is the number one in, not the United States - she is the number one in the United States always - but she's the number one in the world, so that goes to show these kids today that if you try hard and believe in yourself you can accomplish almost anything you want," said Hawkins.

"I am extremely proud of her; she has done something to represent the world and to have other children see that it can be done," said great aunt Patricia Mason.

"I am happy, overjoyed, elated, and just in awe of what she has accomplished at such a young age," said maternal grandmother Nadine Hawkins. "She has something just inside of her that she is just driven to that dream of hers, and she went after it, and she acquired it."

The family says Douglas' mother made many sacrifices so that her daughter could compete and flourish as a gymnast.

"It's unending, because she has made world history, so, no matter what happens, she is there for life," said aunt Ester Ayers.

Her aunt added she will be going on a world tour and will be featured on a special edition boxes of Kellogg's Corn Flakes

Ayers asked Douglas Friday morning if she was ready for her journey, and Gabby answered: "Yes, I am ready."

The family believes she will go after the gold again. However, for now they want her to concentrate on her education. They also want her to return to Gary so that they can have a huge party for her and celebrate.


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