News: Beyond the Horizon airman has Olympian daughter
Story by Sgt. Jeff Daniel
ESCOBAL, Panama – The morning’s safety brief started out as every other before it, but by the end, applause erupted as the additional duty safety officer recognized a fellow airman for a safe act from the previous day.
Although the applause was for the actions of another service member, it could easily have been for the safety officer, who has a celebrity of sorts in his family.
Staff Sgt. Timothy Douglas, additional duty safety officer of 203rd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers, 192nd Fighter Wing, an Air Guard unit from Joint Base Langely-Eustis, Va., is in Panama for Army South’s Beyond the Horizon training exercise with the Red Horse Squadron working at the health clinic in Escobal adding additional exam rooms and a dormitory.
Douglas’ daughter, Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas, earned two gold medals after competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
"One was for best individual all around and the other for best team all around,” said Douglas.
The younger Douglas started in gymnastics at the age of 6 and progressively advanced to the national and international level, said Douglas.
Moreover, Douglas’ daughter is the first African-American to win an Olympic Gold Medal in best overall gymnastics.
In 2011, Douglas deployed to Afghanistan as his daughter was preparing to compete in the World Gymnastics competition in Tokyo.
When he found out that she had made it to the competition he said, “I knew she could make it. My love and support was with her.”
After Douglas’ return from Afghanistan, she was training for the Olympic trials in San Jose, Calif.
“It’s a two-day competition and after the first day, she was trailing slightly,” said Douglas “But after the second day, I kept up with the scores and I knew she made it before it was officially announced.”
As Douglas performs his job in Panama during Army South’s Beyond the Horizon exercise, he reflects back and said that he is truly proud of his daughter.