Watch: Gabby Douglas' mom on raising an Olympian

This combination of Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 photos shows Natalie Hawkins, left, and her daughter, U.S. gymnast Gabrielle Douglas at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Documents filed in January 2012 in the Eastern District of Virginia show Natalie Hawkins filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which allows a person to reorganize their finances and pay down debt over several years.
AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Julie Jacobson

(CBS News) In a matter of days, Gabby Douglas has become a household name. The 4-foot-11 16-year-old became the first African-American woman to win an all-around Olympic gymnastics title - the sport's ultimate prize. She's won two gold medals so far and is already on the cover of a Corn Flakes box.

But the rise to the top wasn't easy. As you can see in this video, Douglas has been training for two years with coach Liang Chow in West Des Moines, Iowa and hasn't been home to Virginia Beach since then. Douglas' mother, Natalie Hawkins, discussed the difficulty of living apart from her daughter for so long - and the gratification of seeing her hard work pay off.

"Letting go of Gabrielle was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life but it's now one of the most rewarding things that I've ever gotten to experience in my life," Hawkins said. "There's no greater joy than for a parent to see their child reach their dream."

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for