Just because the winter Olympics are coming up doesn't mean we should forget one of our favorite summer Olympians: gymnast Gabby Douglas. Lifetime is making sure we remember the all-round champion by premiering a movie about her on Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. The Gabby Douglas Story goes into Douglas' past and shows us the road she took to become a champion. It was definitely not an easy path for Douglas to forge, but in the end she became a champion and Lifetime wants us to celebrate that with them.
I know what you're thinking, Lifetime doesn't always have the best track record when it comes to movies, but they've been stepping up their game recently. Their rendition of Flowers in the Attic debuted to pretty positive reviews, and Douglas' story is sure to please, as well. But if you're still dubious, here are five reasons you need to care about The Gabby Douglas Story.
1. HER STORY DESERVES TO BE CELEBRATED
Douglas is an Olympic champion, so it's a given that she's worked hard. But Douglas' history is more than just sweat in the gym, she had a genuinely difficult life, but one she overcame to rise to victory. "It was hard for us growing up," Douglas has said. "My dad had left us, so he wasn't really in the picture anymore. 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 my mom, taking care of me and my siblings."
If you've ever watched ABC Family's Make It Or Break It, you know gymnastics is an expensive sport, especially when you want to be trained on an elite level. Douglas' family couldn't all afford to move to where star coach Liang Chow was, so Douglas had to go alone. As a 14-year-old she said goodbye to her family and moved 1200 miles away to train for the Olympics. Circumstances like that can easily make a person give up their dreams, but Douglas was determined to succeed and sacrificed all she could to make it happen.
2. WHAT SHE DID IN THE OLYMPICS IS A BIG DEAL
Beyond her talent, Douglas was crucial in helping change the diversity tide of the Olympics. She became the first ever female African-American to win the Gold medal for all-round best gymnast. In the history of 27 Summer Olympic Games that barrier had yet to be broken, but Douglas crashed through it and inspired a nation of girls just like her. "She’s filling hundreds of black girls all over the country with inspiration, giving them permission to dream. It’s silly that it matters. But it does," says blogger Tomi Obaro who admits her 5-year-old self would have idolized the athlete.
3. REGINA KING PLAYS HER MOTHER
This is not your low-budget Lifetime film. Regina King, famous for her roles in big movies like Ray for which she won a Screen Actors Guild award, is certain to elevate this movie beyond that of which is usually seen on a network like Lifetime. You also know her from A Cinderella Story, Miss Congeniality 2, and Legally Blonde 2, all of which I thought she did a pretty great job in, though they're not traditionally critically acclaimed.
4. GABBY DOUGLAS WILL ALSO BE IN THE MOVIE
Not only do we get to see Douglas' acting chops as she plays herself in parts of the movie,(mostly the parts where she does really crazy and dangerous gymnastics moves) but we get chance to see her perform again which will be awesome because she didn't win best gymnast for nothing.
5. IT LOOKS REALLY GOOD
Watch this trailer and try not to get emotional, I dare you.