Gabby Douglas is fantastic in about a hundred ways. We best know her for making serious history by being the first black woman to ever win the all-around old medal in the Olympics. Oh, and because Beyonce writes her love letters. She is only 16–sixteen, you guys–and already has received a slew of gold medals on the world stage of gymnastics and already has memoir coming out.
Grace, Gold, & Glory: My Leap of Faith will be out on December 4th (though you can preorder it if you simply can’r wait). According to People, Douglas announced to her friends and family last year that she was planning on quitting gymnastics to work at Chik-Fil-A. No gold medals, no Olympics, no history-making…just chicken.
Being the casually fascinating person she is, Douglas also mentions hanging out with the President in her book, remarking, “He was so down to earth.” I kind of love her even more for talking about a world leader like he’s a Cosmopolitan bachelor of the month–no sarcasm here, I think it makes her sound even more like a “normal” kid, and a really sweet one at that.
Whenever I see very, very young people doing incredible things like this, I admittedly get a little more self-deprecating than usual. When you’re an adult (I’m 23), you’ve barely finished college (for a liberal arts degree), you’ve quit almost all hobbies you grew up doing (sorry, piano/flute/opera/tennis/soccer) and you can’t run a mile without gasping (I sound like a telenovela starlet), it’s difficult not to feel like you should’ve made some other moves when you see people persevere so beautifully and make it out to the other side of the aspiration line.
But all internal pessimism and joking aside, I seriously think she is the perfect role model for kids her age. She’s well-spoken, intelligent, talented, hardworking and handled the whole “hair” incident (in which assholes criticized hers after one performance at the Olympics) with a whole lot o’ grace.