Television review

Lifetime dramatizes life of gymnast Gabby Douglas

‘The Gabby Douglas Story’: Imani Hakim as the gymnast.
‘The Gabby Douglas Story’: Imani Hakim as the gymnast.
Allen Fraser / Lifetime

Akron Beacon Journal

Since she captivated the world with her gold-medal performance at the 2012 Olympics, gymnast Gabby Douglas has written two books and gotten TV gigs including a reporting job for Inside Edition at this year’s Super Bowl. But she has also had to address stories about her absent father and ludicrous debates about her hair.

Ups and downs are nothing new for the young star, as is clear in The Gabby Douglas Story, which premieres at 8 p.m. Saturday on Lifetime. The movie is one competitor’s story of determination to succeed, the kind of thing we will hear a lot of when the early rounds of the Sochi games start.

The film shows her Olympics success in brief clips of the real Douglas and her family, but focuses on the years leading up to those moments, with Douglas played by Sydney Mikayla as a child and Imani Hakim in her later years.

The movie has young Gabby, full of energy and precocious talent for gymnastics. It has her threat to quit when she grew weary of training in Iowa while her family was in Virginia. It has some mild conflict with other gymnasts, though not the degree of racism and bullying Douglas would later describe.

Even more, it has the story of Natalie Hawkins (Regina King), who struggled to meet the enormous financial demands of a gymnastics career while bringing up Gabby and three other children.

We all know how the story ends. The idea, of course, is to believe in dreams and then work hard to achieve them. It may be fine for younger viewers, but older ones will find it slight dramatically, and impressive performers like King have impressed more elsewhere.

Read more TV & Radio stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category