*The Olympics are the largest stage for athletic performance in the world. As such, even though they are supposed to be devoid of political considerations outside of national affiliation, they give the best opportunity to shed light on political and social situations that deserve the attention.
In the United States there is a history of politics and athletics mixing during the Olympics. In 1936 Jesse Owens dispelled the idea that German athletes were superior due to their Aryan heritage. 32 years later John Carlos and Tommie Smith introduced the masses to the Black Power salute and instigated a closer look at race and class struggle in this country. And in 1980 the entire American Olympic team boycotted the Moscow Games in protest of the host country’s military actions in Afghanistan.
Imani Hakim in the Lifetime Original Movie “The Gabby Douglas Story”
*Lifetime’s original movie about Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas premieres at 8 p.m. Saturday with Imani Hakim – the little sister from “Everybody Hates Chris” – in the lead role.
Regina King plays Gabby’s mom, S. Epatha Merkerson stars as her grandmother and Sydney Mikayla plays the younger Gabby.
The tele-pic, which kicks off Lifetime’s Black History Month, will recount Gabby’s rough journey toward the gold.
Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas arrives at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2013 in Los Angeles
*Finally coming down off her high, at least the media craze part, Olympian Gabby Douglas is back in the gym, training for the next round of competitions.
Her coach, Liang Chow, told the Associated Press that she’s back and excited for the work ahead.
Gabby once expressed that she’d like to go though to the Olympics in Rio in 2016. Her coach says she’s young and has much more to look forward to as she grows in the sport and reaches her potential.
Gabby, even in her short stature and young age, captivated millions with her grace, humility, and grateful personality, not to mention her incredible athleticism.
She was acclaimed one of the best athletes in the world with various honors, including Barbara Walters’ “10 Most Fascinating People” in 2012.
She even had a guest spot on her favorite show, “The Vampire Diaries.”
“She’s the kind of person who wants to be achieving,” Chow said. “She wants to feel good about her improvement and her goal setting. That’s the attitude Gabby is about and now she can set out a goal and achieve it, through the sport.”
While he can’t say for sure when Gabby will be ready again for competition, she’s back in the gym and could be looking at a dynamic 2014 return.
*Maya Angelou is at home in North Carolina recovering after a brief hospitalization. A statement was released to her speaker’s bureau, MacRae Speakers and Entertainment LLC.
Dr. Jeff Williamson of the WakeForest School of Medicine says she’s not allowed to travel for the next three to four weeks. As a result, she had to cancel appearances scheduled for this week at the University of Indianapolis.
Maya Angelou is 85.
*Gabby Douglas has demonstrated strength not only on the exercise floor, but also in the public as she reveled in her Olympic success while critics wrote full columns about her hair.
In an interview with HuffPost Live, she talked about how she managed the stress and negativity.
“I really didn’t focus on it,” she said.
Her thoughts were on the positive things like becoming the first African American gymnast in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion and taking the gold.
Gabby also credits her strength in the face of haters to the discipline she’s learned from gymnastics. Although she does admit that her mom, Natalie Hawkins, wasn’t so cool, calm and collected.
*History making gymnast Gabrielle Douglas, opens up about the journey she took to become the international icon she became over the summer.
Only 16-years-old and all of 4’11”, the black girl from Iowa discusses the sacrifices her family made to ensure her success, despite the odds in her new book, written with O’s founding editor Michelle Burford, “Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith.”
It wasn’t all roses or even remotely pleasant for young Gabby who endured a slew of racism and ridicule from her peers.
She explains that another gymnast referred to her as a slave and describes the constant criticism people spewed about her hair during the Olympics.
In an interview with theRoot, Gabby admitted the constant badgering because of her skin was a shocker.
“No one likes to be made fun of or joked about,” she said. “I remember crying and I didn’t say anything, and I don’t recommend that. You should always tell an adult. I overcame that by relying on the Bible to encourage me and to lift me up. I knew I had a dream to follow, and I wasn’t going to let anything or anyone stop me from achieving my goals.”
Check out the full interview at theRoot.
*Serena is feeling old these days.
The superstar super athlete says life is going at a different pace because she’s now focused on her career.
“I’m really boring now,” Williams said in a Daily Mail article. “I used to be fun. Now for a fun time do not call me. I think I just got older, and I realized I can’t be that fun girl for the rest of my life. I could be the oldest number one [tennis champion]. I don’t know how that goes with the funnest.”
Serena’s been in the game for a while now, being 31-years-old and starting as a young girl. There’s no more time for fun and games. It’s down to business for the championship tennis player.
In 2012, the Compton native took home her fifth title at the U.S. open, won a gold medal at the Olympics and WTA Championship.
She also became the second woman in history to earn a career Grand Slam.
While success is sure to follow Serena, another big match is approaching soon in Brisbane. But she’s having a hard time concentrating, claiming insomnia is keeping her up at nights.