GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Nov. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- US gymnast and two-time Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas believes that her own success is directly proportional to the immense support of her family, friends, and faith in God. This theme is at the heart of her debut memoir, Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith, coming to bookstores nationwide on Dec. 4, 2012 through the Zondervan division of HarperCollins.
The 16-year-old, who captivated the country at the 2012 London Olympics as she flew high as the All-Around Gold Medal winner, tells her story of faith, perseverance, and determination, demonstrating you can reach your dreams if you let yourself soar.
"Even before I competed in the Olympics, I always wanted to write a book," says Douglas. "Of course, there'll be a lot of stories about gymnastics, but the book will also be about how much my family and I have overcome during our journey. It hasn't been easy. I want people to read my story and say, 'If Gabby can do it, I can do it, too. Anything is possible.'"
Grace, Gold & Glory, written in collaboration with Michelle Burford, contains a full-color poster and photo inserts, and provides a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Olympic fan favorite. In her memoir, Douglas reveals how her modest upbringing rooted in family and faith has shaped her into the young woman and role model she is today.
The youngest of four siblings, Douglas shares poignant, often humorous stories from her childhood as she talks candidly about the obstacles faced along her road toward the world gymnastics stage. Grace, Gold & Glory offers a firsthand look into the intense training and sacrifice required of this elite athlete and uncovers personal truths for Douglas, such as the bullying and racism she endured as an African-American gymnast, her heartache, isolation, and homesickness, as well as multiple injuries – all of which led Douglas to consider leaving gymnastics forever only seven months before the London Olympics. Douglas also opens up for the first time about her father's role in her life.
Her memoir serves as an intricate roadmap from birth to Douglas' historical journey to London and the numerous prayers, meditations, and Bible verses that helped her stay strong along the way. The autobiography also reveals some of Douglas' favorite moments post-Olympics, including the many celebrities she's met and a guest role on her all-time favorite TV series.
"With strong faith in God and some serious determination, every dream is possible," says Douglas. "I hope this book inspires others to go for their biggest dreams."
About Gabrielle Douglas
Gabrielle Douglas is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she made history, becoming the first US gymnast to take home a team and an individual gold medal in the same games. Gabrielle began her training at age six, and became the Virginia State Champion only two years later. When she was fourteen, she left her family in Virginia Beach to train with coach Liang Chow in Des Moines, Iowa. Under Chow's guidance, and with tremendous faith in God's plan for her, Gabrielle competed in the Olympic Trials and walked away with a victory and the only guaranteed spot on the team. Since her Olympic triumph, Gabrielle has used her platform to inspire millions with a powerful message: With hard work and persistence, any dream is possible (www.gabrielledouglas.com).
Zondervan, a HarperCollins company, is a world leader in Christian communications and a leading Christian publishing brand. For more than 80 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through general and academic resources by influential leaders and emerging voices, and been honored with more Christian Book Awards than any other publisher. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., with additional offices in Miami, Zondervan publishes its bestselling Bibles, books, audio, video, curriculum, software, and digital products through its Zondervan, Zonderkidz and Editorial Vida brands. Zondervan resources are sold worldwide through retail stores, online, and by Zondervan ChurchSource, and are translated into nearly 200 languages in more than 60 countries. Visit Zondervan on the Internet at www.zondervan.com.
Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith
Gabrielle Douglas with Michelle Burford
Hardcover, Jacketed (Full-Color Poster Included w/Full-Color Photo Inserts)
Firm On Sale: DECEMBER 4, 2012
Gabrielle Douglas Fast Facts
- Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas was born on December 31, 1995, in Virginia Beach, Virginia
- At the age of eight, Douglas won the Level 4 all-around gymnastics title at the 2004 Virginia State Championships
- At 14, Douglas moved from her family in Virginia Beach to train in Des Moines, Iowa. Coach Liang Chow also coached Shawn Johnson, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist
- High-Profile Female Christian Athlete and Role Model
- First African-American All-Around Olympic Gold Medalist
- First Female to Win Both All-Around and Team Gold Medals in the Same Olympics
- Awarded Women's Sports Foundation's Sportswoman of the Year in 2012
- Featured on the 2012 Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions
- She has appeared magazine covers including Essence, Time, People, Jet, and Sports Illustrated
- Nearly 1.4 million people follow Douglas through her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts