Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition
Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will wear a leotard bearing Hebrew lettering when she competes at the P&G Gymnastics Championships over the weekend.
Douglas’ Swarovski-outlined outfit will feature the Hebrew word “Elohim,” meaning God, on its left sleeve. The Hebrew detailing honors the athlete’s “rich heritage of faith,” according to apparel manufacturer GK Elite, which produced the leotard and released a preview of it on Wednesday. The company said Douglas’ sister, Joyelle “Joy” Douglas, created the Hebrew design.
The outcome of the P&G Championships will help determine if Douglas will compete as part of Team USA in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In her memoir, In Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith, which was released in 2012, Douglas wrote that her family “practiced some of the Jewish traditions.” The 20-year-old said that the participation in Judaism began with her mother, Natalie Hawkins, and maternal grandmother. Douglas’ grandmother occasionally prepared kosher meals for the family and Hawkins studied Hebrew, according to Jewish culture website Jewcy.com. Douglas also wrote about the year she spent going to synagogue in Norfolk, VA, and observing the Sabbath, though not strictly, because she had gymnastics practice on Saturdays.