But there’s more to this young 16-year-old athlete.
She recently slammed her father, Timothy Douglas, calling him a deadbeat, riding on her mother’s struggling finances.
“It was really hard for us growing up – my dad had left us, so he wasn’t really in the picture anymore,” Douglas, 16, told the NY Post. “So my mom had to front all these bills. My dad didn’t really pay the child support. He was short [on money]. It was definitely hard on her part, and she had to take care of me and the rest of my siblings.”
Douglas had said that even after winning her two gold medals, she still hadn’t spoken to her father, an Air Force staff sergeant who has served in Afghanistan.
Although she’s pretty good at keeping her composure, her personal struggles at times creep up on her and show up in her performances. The other night, she faltered during the last bits of her routine during the uneven bars, finishing the round last.
“Toward the end of the Olympics, you get physically tired and drained. And no matter how much rest you have, your body is tired,” she said. “I made a little mistake, but I’m human . . . I don’t know, you just get to mentally, you’re just so tired.”
But all is well. She is still the first African American female gymnast to grasp the gold in all-around.