Gabby Douglas' father was the topic of discussion for the 2012 Olympics star during an interview with the New York Post. Douglas spoke openly about struggles while growing up without her father, Timothy Douglas, who was deployed to the Middle East by the military when she was only 9 years-old.
Gabby Douglas Hair: "What's Wrong With My Hair?", Mom and Olympian React to Twitter Hair Comments
"It was hard for us growing up-my dad had left us, so he wasn't really in the picture anymore," the 16-year-old said on Monday.
Gabby Douglas and her family lived in Virginia Beach, but they eventually moved to Iowa to train when she was young.
Gabby Douglas Balance Beam Fall Photos: Women's Beam Final Sees Douglas End London 2012 Olympics in Disappointment
"So, my mom had to front all these bills," Douglas said. "My dad didn't really pay the child support. He was short [on money]. It was definitely hard on my mom, taking care of me and my siblings."
Douglas' mother, Natalie Hawkins, is currently divorcing Timothy Douglas, but both have put their differences aside to offer their love and support to their daughter at the Olympics, and their unconditional love and support has no doubt gone a long way in making Gabby the spectacular gold medalist she has become.
According to TMZ, Hawkins had filed for bankruptcy.
Gabby Douglas' father was in London to see her amazing performance to win the gold medal in the women's gymnastics all-around at the Olympic 2012 Games, although he was forced to watch from a distance.
Her father has been serving in the Air Force, but he managed to witness his daughter make history by becoming the first African-American woman to win the all-around gold.
He held up a banner in the crowd saying "Go Gabby Douglas, Love, Dad" surprising his daughter who did not even know he was there at the event.
"I'm like, 'Who's calling my name?' And then I look up," she told the Des Moines Register. "It was my dad and his friend, and I haven't seen him in a while. They were holding up the flag. And I almost felt like bawling. I was like, 'Oh, my gosh, Dad!"
"I just missed her so much," Timothy Douglas told the paper. "It's just so thrilling what's going on."
Gabby has said that she has prayed constantly for her father's safety as he has been on dangerous missions, and her prayers became a regular part of her life.
"I just had to pray to God just to keep him safe and tell the angels to keep my dad safe and come home," she told NBC.
Gabby Douglas failed to win a medal during her last event at the 2012 Olympics on Tuesday. She place 7th in the balancing beam event. However, Douglas is the first American to win team and all-around gold in the same Olympics.