Grand Rapids, Mich; September 6, 2012–Zondervan announced today it has acquired world rights to Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith, the first book by Olympic gold medalist and gymnastics sensation Gabby Douglas. The inspirational memoir, perfect for teens and adults, was acquired by HarperCollins’ Lisa Sharkey, Senior Vice President and Director of Creative Development, and is planned for a December 2012 hardcover release. Details about the second book by Gabby will be announced at a later date. The deal was negotiated by Sheryl Shade of Shade Global in collaboration with Frank Weimann of The Literary Group International. As a special feature, the book will include a poster of the gymnast.
Upon acquisition, Gabby Douglas said, "Even before I competed in the Olympics, I always wanted to write a book. 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.’ I hope the book inspires others to go for their biggest dreams."
The 16-year-old Douglas captivated the country when she won two gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics. She is the first African-American to win gold in the gymnastics all-around and the first American gymnast to win both the team gold and the all-around gold medal at the same Olympics.
"Gabby Douglas shines even more brightly than her Olympic Gold medals. The reason is her inner strength and strong faith. We are confident that this humble young woman will inspire a generation of her peers and beyond when they read her personal story," commented Sharkey.
In Gabby’s book, the Olympic fan favorite gives readers a never-before-seen look at her life. Douglas will reveal how her modest upbringing rooted in family and faith has shaped her into the young woman and role model she is today, including personal reflections and memories from her childhood. Talking candidly about the difficulties she’s faced while attempting to triumph on the world gymnastics stage, Gabby will touch on how her deep faith and the support of her family helped keep her focused throughout the intense scrutiny she faced in London while achieving her Olympic dreams. Through it all, Gabby’s focus will be on how her life and the talents she has been blessed with are being used for a greater glory.
"Gabby’s life and story will equip countless young people with the courage and motivation to move beyond ‘life as it seems.’ Her magnetic smile and poised demeanor set her apart. We could not be happier to work with Gabby and her family on this project," said Annette Bourland, Senior Vice President and Group Publisher, Trade Books at Zondervan.
Zondervan, a HarperCollins company, is a world leader in Christian communications and a leading Christian publishing brand. For more than 80 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through general and academic resources by influential leaders and emerging voices, and been honored with more Christian Book Awards than any other publisher. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., with additional offices in Miami, Zondervan publishes its bestselling Bibles, books, audio, video, curriculum, software, and digital products through its Zondervan, Zonderkidz and Editorial Vida brands. Zondervan resources are sold worldwide through retail stores, online, and by Zondervan ChurchSource, and are translated into nearly 200 languages in more than 60 countries. Visit Zondervan on the Internet at www.zondervan.com.
Gabby Douglas Fast Facts
- Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas was born on December 31, 1995, in Virginia Beach, Virginia
- At the age of eight, Douglas won the Level 4 all-around gymnastics title at the 2004 Virginia State Championships
- At 14, Douglas moved from her family in Virginia Beach to train in Des Moines, Iowa. Coach Liang Chow also coached Shawn Johnson, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist.
- She has appeared magazine covers including Time, People, Jet, and Sports Illustrated Faith is a central part of Gabby’s life:
- "My faith has definitely been strong. I have been meditating on scriptures and quoting some in London every day to build my faith a little stronger every day."
"It’s so important to stay true to your faith.”
(Press Conference August 19, 2012)
- Nearly 1.4 million people follow Douglas through her Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Contact: Vicky Lynch Vicky@cgrantandcompany.com (630) 362-8829