On the heels of its best-ever January, Lifetime is starting February off with an original movie about Gabby Douglas, the gymnast who won two gold medals and millions of Americans’ hearts during the 2012 London Olympics.
The biopic shows how Gabby’s “sacrifice and perseverance were triumphantly rewarded with Team Competition and Individual All-Around gold medals, placing Gabby and her teammates – known as The Fierce Five — among the world’s all-time greats in gymnastics.”
Gabby is portrayed by two actresses. Regina King plays her mother, Natalie Hawkins. The actual Gabby makes a short appearance and helped produce.
Although the film is inspirational, reviewers say it leaves one big question unanswered: What has Gabby been up to since the Olympics?
Immediately after the games, Gabby got to work on her autobiography, Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith. She followed that up with a book about her post-Olympic life, Raising the Bar. Gabby was also honored as the Associated Press’ Female Athlete of the Year, appeared in a Nintendo campaign and made appearances at a variety of entertainment events.
Despite her new celebrity status, the biggest transition came last summer when Gabby left her longtime gym and coach in Iowa. The move to California reunited the young athlete with her parents and siblings — whom she moved away from at the age of 14 to pursue her Olympic dreams.
“Being back with my family is such a joy because I was away from them for a very long time,” she told USA Today in September.
Unfortunately, the move also created some tension with Iowa coach Liang Chow, who helped make those dreams come true.
“We were not really sure for a long time, because we heard from other people first,” said Liwen Zhuang, the wife of Gabby’s coach, last September. “It’s kind of awkward.”
Sources told USA Today at the time of Gabby’s departure that she told Liang of her decision on a Monday and left the state the next Tuesday.
Since making the move, Gabby’s judged the So You Think You Can Dance? season finale, participated in television news interviews and helped produce her Lifetime biopic. She’s also looking ahead to the 2016 — when she hopes to make the Olympic team again.
The Gabby Douglas Story premieres on Lifetime this Saturday, February 1st, at 8:00 p.m. ET.