Since Olympic gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas shocked the world with her historic victory, the internet and social media networks have been buzzing with the questions: Who is Gabby’s father? Where’s Gabby Douglas’ dad?
Well, the answer to these two question is: “He’s right where he’s supposed to be, serving his country!”
Meet Gabby Douglas’ father, Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Timothy Douglas.
When Gabby won her historic gymnastics gold earlier this week, her mother cried, her siblings screamed — and her father Staff Sgt. Timothy Douglas was stationed in Afghanistan as part of the Air National Guard, 203rd Red Horse Squadron.
The 16-year-old’s dramatic rise to the top of her sport came despite her parents’ crumbling marriage and a long-distance relationship with her father.
Gabby hadn’t seen her dad in two years. While he couldn’t make it to the London Games, Douglas did fly into San Jose, Calif., to watch his daughter earn her spot on the U.S. team earlier in the summer.
At the time, Gabby recalled hearing her name coming down from the crowd at the trials. She looked up to see her father waving a U.S. flag with her name written across the stripes.
“There’s a feeling that you can’t describe,” the elder Douglas told the Des Moines Register after the reunion. “I just missed her so much.”
Douglas said he provided advice from afar, encouraging his daughter to never give up on her dreams of a gold medal. The pair kept in touch via Skype.
Gabby Douglas credited the surprise visit for giving her a huge boost in the qualifying competition.
“I was like, ‘OK, you’ve got to get it together,’” she recalled. “Seeing him made my night, actually.”
But she didn’t see him in London, and won’t be seeing him at home. Douglas and wife Natalie Hawkins split up before the Olympics, and are in the process of getting a divorce.
He was deployed seven years ago, leaving Hawkins to raise four children as a single parent.(Source)
In a recent article written by Dr. Boyce Watkins, he talks about how the media never covers the whole story when it comes to African-American families.
Dr. Boyce Watkins says:
The Gabby Douglas story, like millions of other stories of triumph in our community, came to fruition because some man, some where, gave some child the gift of life.
While we love to grab onto an endless supply of stereotypes teaching us that black men are worthless and don’t love their children, there are quite a few fathers like this one who understand that a real man always takes care of his children.
Some people seem to think that black babies are delivered to their mother’s by storks, or they automatically assume that the father doesn’t care about his kids because he never had the chance to live with them.
In the case of Gabby Douglas, you can throw those stereotypes out the window. Gabby’s dad, Air Force Staff Sergeant Timothy Douglas, was front and center to see his daughter perform recently and only missed some of the performances because he was off serving his country in Afghanistan.
Scratching our heads: We are surprised the military did not let Air Force Staff Sergeant Timothy Douglas take some time off to see his daughter perform in the Olympics.
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Photo Credit: AP/US Presswire