Olympic gymnast Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Douglas has inked a deal with Zondervan, a HarperCollins imprint, to publish two books, the first of which is a memoir. Grace, Gold and Glory chronicles 16-year-old Gabby’s upbringing in Virginia and her journey to victory at the London 2012 Olympics, where she became the first American gymnast to win both the team gold and the all-round Gold at the same games.
In a statement Thursday, Douglas says her memoir will include “a lot of stories” about gymnastics, as well as challenges she and her family faced. Douglas was just 14 when she moved halfway across the country to train with Liang Chow in West Des Moines, Iowa.
The Christian publishing house, Grand Rapids-based Bible publisher Zondervan will publish the memoir. A hardcover version will be in stores by December, and will include a poster of the gymnast. The book is one of two Douglas will write as part of a deal with Zondervan’s parent company, HarperCollins. Details about the second book will be announced at a later date. Shade Global’s Sheryl Shade teamed up with The Literary Group’s Frank Weimann to negotiate the deal with HarperCollins’ director of creative development Lisa Sharkey.
Douglas gave this statement in the release: “Even before I competed in the Olympics, I always wanted to write a book. Of course, there’ll be a lot of stories about gymnastics, but the book will also be about how much my family and I have overcome during our journey.”
The 16-year-old Douglas captivated the country when she won two gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics. She is the first African-American to win gold in the gymnastics all-around and the first American gymnast to win both the team gold and the all-around gold medal at the same Olympics.
Since then, she has been making appearances at nearly every big event, from leading the pledge of allegiance at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday evening to sharing the stage with Alicia Keys at the VMA awards.
“Gabby Douglas shines even more brightly than her Olympic gold medals. The reason is her inner strength and strong faith,” said HarperCollins Senior Vice President Lisa Sharkey, who acquired the rights to the book.
The high-profile book deal may be a good sign for the publishing house, which is going through some leadership changes after HarperCollins acquired rival Christian publisher Thomas Nelson. Two publisher are being combined into a new HarperCollins division.
Douglas says, “I want people to read my story and say, “If Gabby can do it, I can do it, too. Anything is possible.’ I hope the book inspires others to go for their biggest dreams.”