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Gabrielle Douglas flies high in the 2012 Olympics (Reuters/Mike Blake )

U.S. gymnast and two-time Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas believes that her own success is directly proportional to the immense support from her faith in God, family and friends. This theme is at the heart of her debut memoir: Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith, which releases today from Zondervan.

The 16-year-old captivated the country at the 2012 London Olympics as the All-Around Gold Medal winner. In her new book she tells her story of faith, perseverance and determination and emphasizes that you can reach your dreams if you let yourself soar.

“Even before I competed in the Olympics, I always wanted to write a book,” says Douglas. “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. It hasn’t been easy. I want people to read my story and say, ‘If Gabby can do it, I can do it, too. Anything is possible.’”

Grace, Gold & Glory, written in collaboration with Michelle Burford, contains a full-color poster and photo inserts, and provides a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Olympic fan favorite. In her memoir, Douglas reveals how her modest upbringing rooted in faith has shaped her into the young woman and role model she is today.

The youngest of four siblings, Douglas shares poignant, often humorous stories from her childhood as she talks candidly about the obstacles faced along her road toward the world gymnastics stage. 

Grace, Gold & Glory offers a firsthand look into the intense training and sacrifice required of this elite athlete and uncovers personal truths for Douglas, such as the bullying and racism she endured as an African-American gymnast, her heartache, isolation and homesickness, as well as multiple injuries – all of which led Douglas to consider leaving gymnastics forever only seven months before the London Olympics. Douglas also opens up for the first time about her father’s role in her life. 

Her memoir serves as an intricate roadmap from birth to Douglas’ historical journey to London and the numerous prayers, meditations and Bible verses that helped her stay strong along the way.

“With strong faith in God and some serious determination, every dream is possible,” says Douglas. “I hope this book inspires others to go for their biggest dreams.”

The two-time Olympic gold medalist opens up about how her faith in God and prayer life helped her overcome obstacles that tried to deter her from going to the 2012 London Olympics. 

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