The Gabby Douglas Story parents guide

The Gabby Douglas Story Parent Review

Overall A

The Gabby Douglas Story recounts the life of the young gymnast who won gold at the Olympic games in London 2012. The made-for-TV-movie focuses on the support group behind her success.

Violence A-
Sexual Content A
Profanity A-
Substance Use A

The Gabby Douglas Story is rated Not Rated

Movie Review

What does it take to become an Olympic champion? The Gabby Douglas Story attempts to answer that question by dramatizing the life of the real African-American youth who won gold at the games in London 2012.

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Born the fourth child in a financially challenged family, Gabriella (played by Sydney Mikayla and later Imani Hakim) has to struggle just to stay alive because of a rare blood disorder. Yet as she grows it became obvious her health issue is not the only thing that makes her unique. After only a few demonstrations from her older sister (Marley Smith/ Kyal Rankine), the youngster also proves to have an amazing aptitude for doing cartwheels and flips. (And breaking household furniture that happens to get in her way.)

Convinced that Gabby has exceptional talent, her siblings try to talk their mother Natalie Hawkins (Regina King) into enrolling their little sister in gymnastic classes. However, the money commitment associated with lessons at the local gym is more than the single parent can afford. In order to come up with enough cash, all of the family members decide to forgo personal wants so Gabby can get the instruction she needs. As time passes and her skills develop, the cost of transportation to bigger competitions also increases. As well, the budding athlete requires better training, specifically from a world-renowned coach like Liang Chow (Brian Tee). Although Natalie wants what is best for her daughter, she isn’t sure they can scrape together all that’s necessary to help Gabby pursue her dream.

While this made-for-TV-movie gets a little sentimental at times and the script includes a few terms of deity used as expletives, these flaws in no way diminish the film’s messages. Gabby is a great example of determination and dedication to her sport. Still, that is only part of the equation that leads to her success. The incredible sacrifices of her family, plus the encouragement of her trainers and even the support of generous strangers, are all equally important factors.

Watching the team effort it takes to raise this gymnast is what makes The Gabby Douglas Story inspirational. It is also the secret to the tale’s broader application. Although individual goals may vary, raising successful citizens requires the same types of building blocks: hard work, commitment, positive reinforcement, kindness, and the promise of loved ones to be cheering at the finish line no matter how long it may take your champion to get there.

Directed by Gregg Champion. Starring Regina King, Imani Hakim, Sydney Mikayla. Running time: 86 minutes. Updated

Get details on profanity, sex and violence in The Gabby Douglas Story here.

The Gabby Douglas Story Parents Guide

How does Gabby’s family motto, “Today should always be better than yesterday,” help her to persevere with her ambitious goals? Although she appears to have natural talent, does that mean she doesn’t have to work hard for her dreams? What things in life do you want badly enough to make sacrifices for?

Gold medal winner Gabby Douglas was the first African-American gymnast to win as Individual All-Around Champion. She was also the first American to get both that honor and gold in the Team Competitions during the same Olympics. Real footage of Gabby Douglas’s performances at the London 2012 Olympics are included in this movie. Learn more about this young athlete here: