SAG Award nominated actress Regina King (“Southland”), Golden Globe and Emmy winner S. Epatha Merkerson (“Law & Order”), Imani Hakim (“Everybody Hates Chris”), Sydney Mikayla (Whitney) and two-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will star in The Gabby Douglas Story on Lifetime. An original movie, it tells the inspiring true story of the international gymnastics phenomenon who overcame overwhelming odds to become the first African American everto be named Individual All-Around Champion in artistic gymnastics at the Olympic Games.
A prodigy from a very young age, Gabby Douglas originally made her mark on the world of competitive gymnastics at age eight. She won numerous state championship titles in her age group throughout her early competitive career. While her star was fast rising in the arena, Gabby and her family faced economic challenges at home and she made the difficult decision to leave her mother Natalie (King), three siblings and grandmother (Merkerson) in Virginia Beach and move to Des Moines, Iowa, to train with renowned coach Liang Chow (Brian Tee, The Wolverine) to pursue her dream of Olympic glory. Buoyed by her early success, dedication and unyielding love from her family, Gabby made it onto the 2012 U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team, setting the stage for triumph shortly thereafter at the London Olympic Games.
Her 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.
To celebrate the premiere of The Gabby Douglas Story, Lifetime is launching a contest and inviting schools across the country to take the Gabby Douglas Raise the Bar Pledge. Schools may enter for a chance to win $10,000 by encouraging their students to submit pledges to raise the bar in their own lives. For the Official Rules, please visit www.raisethebarpledge.com.
Kicking off Lifetime’s Black History Month celebration, The Gabby Douglas Story premieres on Saturday, February 1, at 8:00pm ET/PT.