Gabby Douglas: True American hero
The incredibly talented Olympian Gabby Douglas may have officially become America's new sweetheart. The superstar gymnast has been praised for her performances at the Olympics and for her attitude by critics and celebrity fans alike. Reuters reports before the recent Summer Olympics, Douglas was nothing more than a talented young girl with a megawatt smile and a small fanbase. Now the Olympic gold medalist counts everyone from president Barack Obama to Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce as her friends on Twitter and other social media outlets.
Although Douglas may now have some famous friends watching her, she admits the best part of becoming a champion is what she'll be remembered for. It's not about what sneakers a person wears or how they do their hair, it's about going after something bigger than themselves, she recently explained to the news source.
"For me, going down in history being the first black American to win the gold, I think more colored people are going to start coming to the gymnastics world and say 'okay, anything is possible," Douglas told the news outlet. "'If Gabby did it, then I can do it too.'"
Douglas now has more than 650,000 followers on Twitter and she hopes what she has done in her sport will inspire other people - black, white and any other race - to reach for their goals despite any challenges that may have previously got in their way.
WetPaint.com reports her message of hope and accomplishments led to many A-list celebrities offering her praise after her win.
Beyonce wrote on Twitter, "A huge congratulations to 16 year old Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas - wow - what a thrill to watch you take this gold! I can tell you've been working hard for so long - enjoy the moment, its [sic] yours. Thank you for inspiring all of us! Love, B."
Oprah also sent a shout out to the young superstar writing, "OMG I'm so THRILLED for Gabby, Flowing happy tears!! #Team USA."
Even though Douglas became an overnight inspiration to so many people in America and around the world, it wasn't without some controversy. The Huffington Post reports some critics of the young athlete took to their own Twitter pages to discuss her "unkempt" hair. Always above the drama, Douglas responded saying she'll continue to wear her hair in that style and that she could care less about what others think.