The road to success for Gabby Douglas hasn’t been easy. Thankfully, the young gymnast relied on her mother, Natalie Hawkins and three siblings, Arielle, John and Joyelle. But one person’s been noticeably absent from her life, Gabby’s father Timothy Douglas, an Air National guardsman.
According to an interview with People, the Olympic gold medalist says she didn’t see him much growing up—especially after her parents divorced in 2007. And things haven’t changed much since then. “I haven’t heard from him,” said Gabby. “He’s doing his own thing. What can you do? Everyone has hiccups in their families.”
She hopes to receive an apology from him “at some point.”
In Gabby’s upcoming book, Grace, Gold and Glory: My Leap of Faith, she reveals more about her broken relationship with her father. During Olympic trials last summer Timothy Douglas cheered on his daughter from the crowd. But unfortunately, the happiness didn’t last long. When the trials were over she received a text from him saying, “I need you to autograph some things for me.”
She was shocked to hear that’s what he wanted after being absent for two years. “I cried the night after I read that text,” she wrote.
But as for now, the ESSENCE cover girl is holding close to family during this special time in her life. “I’m cherishing every moment with my family,” said Gabby.