From the New York Times:
Gabby Douglas, the newly minted American sweetheart and Olympic champion in the all-around, returned to the athletes’ village on Thursday to end her night by doing what every teenager would do: She Googled herself.
There, filling the computer screen, was her name again and again, and photos of her, again and again.
“Everything popped up,” the 16-year-old Douglas said with her trademark giggle. “ ‘Gabby Douglas wins the all-around. Gabby Douglas makes history.’ It definitely was an amazing thing!”
Douglas, a 4-foot-11, 94-pound package of rocket-fueled energy, on Thursday became the first black gymnast to win the individual all-around Olympic gold medal. She also became the first American to win both the all-around and team events at the same Olympics, and only the fourth American woman to win the all-around title. …..
Douglas, who left her family in Virginia Beach when she was 14 to train in Iowa, said she wanted to be a role model for members of minorities. One of her two sponsors, Kellogg’s, has spoken to her agent, Sheryl Shade, about outreach in minority communities. Plans are also in the works for Douglas to take part in Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to promote exercise. ….
Douglas didn’t win her first major competition until last month, when she beat the world champion Jordyn Wieber at Olympic trials. She signed her first deal, with Proctor & Gamble, a few days later.
At first, her mother, Natalie Hawkins, was nervous that all the top sponsorships were taken. But she had already made the wise but difficult decision to let Douglas train 1,200 miles away, and felt in her gut that waiting until the Olympics to sign more sponsorships was the right thing to do.
Hawkins, a single mother and a debt collector, now can see that her intuition was spot on. Less than 18 hours after winning the all-around, Douglas was already on the cover of a cereal box, Corn Flakes. Her rise into celebrity was steep.
Douglas received shout-outs from celebrities like Beyoncé, who dedicated a page of her blog to her. “WOW — what a thrill to watch you take this Gold!” she wrote. “Thank you for inspiring all of us!”