Sunday, August 05, 2012

Gabby Douglas' Mother Filed For Bankruptcy Because Of Gymnastics Debt



Gabby Douglas' mother has said that gymnastics is a very expensive sport. Apparently she knows this from firsthand experience because she had to recently file for bankruptcy because of the debt that gymnastics training has put her in. Natalie Hawkins says she is almost $80,000 in debt because of paying for gymnastics for Gabby. Now, Gabby is going to make millions of dollars now, but what if she had got injured or didn't even make the Olympic team? Parents spend so much money on their kids chasing a dream for them and it is all great when it works out, but when it doesn't, it can be painful and divide a family. Imagine if you are the siblings and someone spent $80K on a sibling and you had to play pickup basketball at the local rec center because of all the money spent on the other sibling.

47 comments:

Agent**It said...

Entwood, take note: She filed for Capt 13 , not Chapt 7,

nolachickee said...

I'd be happy for the sibling if they were an Olympic hopeful, or an uber talent in any other area. Not everyone is a bitter mess regarding money and family (I'm talking to you, Ms. Jackson 'cause you're nasty).

Bonheur said...

I'm a gym mom so i feel her financial pain. Unfortunately for my daughter, injuries took their toll and the time came when we had to choose between multiple surgeries and extended physio time in order to stay in the game with a ~possibility of getting to London, or to throw in the towel. Hard choices for 15 & 16 year old girls and families with already diminished finances.

MISCH said...

And it will be returned 1000 times...Gabby is well aware and grateful.
I'm happy for the whole family.

smashbash said...

Jeesh. Ron Lochtes mom is in serious debt as well. And he is walking around with that dipshit 25k grill.

smashbash said...

Ryan Lochte! Shiiit.

strawberrygirl said...

I can't stand Lochte. He wears bright green shoes that have rhinestones and his first and last name on the bottom of each shoe, so when he walks on stuff it leaves his imprint. And damn grill made me want to slap it out of his mouth. Idiot.

RenoBlondee said...

I read an article in EW about parents taking their kids to LA to become stars and it was the same with that too.
It's all just a crap shoot.

Cancan said...

Chapter 13. $163K in assets, $79K in debt. Presumably a liquidity problem.

Louise Pinkman said...

Enty... Is that you? Not to compare apples to oranges or bacon..:) ... How much did that law degree set your parents back? People sacrifice for their kids all the time. Gabby's Mom .. Brother and Sister looked pretty thrilled the other night. Most of us have a payment plan of one kind or another... Throw shade at someone who isn't trying.. Not a person who is doing what she can to make it work.

Agent**It said...

Yes, that is why I did not understand why Entwood did not mention Chpt 13. Crap, give the woman credit.

msgirl said...

I think Mr Entwood is talking about all the parents who spend a fortune on their kid's dreams, and just how expensive it all is. The expense is disgusting. While I'm thrilled for Gabby, she's just so so good and also lovable, she is very lucky, now going to be getting millions. So the post is recognizing how unfortunate it is for anyone with talent and ambition but doesn't attain the dream to be in debt. So close but so far.

timebob said...

one scandal and the millions go flying out the door. Phelps said he lost out on millions with sponsors becuase of with one picture with him and a bong. Not that matters now, he will swimming in pools of cash now and forever.

Agree with the others, she filed Chap 13 and worked out a payment plan to a trust that will distribute the funds to the creditors. She isn't pimping out her kid for a buck she supported her daughter as a goood parent does.

Hope the money does roll in and they have a nice comfortable life.

Frufra said...

This hippie momma just doesn't get it. I think all these kids are awesome, but I don't think the cost, financially or emotionally, is worth it.

Can't we all just be winners in the game of life :-)?

Agent**It said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frufra said...

@Agent - how do you feel about Darnell's dad? Because his intensity scares me. I think Darnell is traumatized by him.

PLEASE - correct me if I'm wrong.

kim butler said...

If this woman chooses to go in debt to support her daughter then so be it. Rather that than drugs or on some sorry a$$ man. Besides she is taking care of the situtation and isn't asking for a hand out.

Bubbles said...

Unscramble Douglas and what do you have? USA gold!

And a lot of those kids who played pick up basketball at the local rec are doing just fine today playing in the Olympics.

Tuxedo Cat said...

I guess these are the kinds of sacrifices that produce champions!

Gaby would have paid her back eventually. Even if she had been injured, she will always be able to coach (at the very least). It's really no different than a school loan.

The whole family will benefit from Gaby's success.

Moosefan said...

Love you Nolachickee

Me said...

i find this very annoying. live w/i your means. of you can't afford to send your child away to train for the olympics; then don't. she had money to fly, with her other children, to europe and see her daughter participate in the olympics, but not to pay her bills??? if it was eat or not pay bills, i would understand. this is bullshit. not very many people have the talent to become an elite athlete, and not many people can AFFORD to finance the olympic dream. sad but true. unfair but true. live w/i your means; thats a more important lesson than "follow your dream".

annabella said...

80,000 isn't that much in the scheme of things, and now the daughter will make millions, which I'm happy about.

it bums me out when only rich kids can do these things - as they already get too much of the good stuff anyway. there is a woman who loves her daughter and was willing to sacrifice for her. as was michael phelps mother, who I believe was a single mom?

I come from a working class background. my parents gave me no money for anything, yet I went to college and have two graduate degrees. I like to believe that people in my circumstances (ie 'the 99%') try that much harder, because we have to.

Agent**It said...

If people stop following their dreams, then what's the point of living? Yes, it is expensive, but the majority of Olympic athletes do not come from wealthy backgrounds.

lazyday603 said...

I don't really agree. If you have a child who shows world class promise you should do whatever you can to help them, then try to make the siblings understand why it is important for the family to support each other. Gymnastics is the rare endeavor where the age of the top performers in the world averages about 17. If you don't support their efforts early the window closes.

MrWolf said...

@Cancan - How much of that 163k is the family home and car? :)

@Bubbles - NONE of those kids playing pick up basketball at the local rec center are now playing at the Olympics. Lebron was drafted by the NBA in his teenaged years, most of the rest were NCAA college athletes.

Training an elite athlete is insanely expensive. People who are not trained at that level simply cannot compete - Which is why rich nations win more gold medals than poor nations.

It's hard to fathom when you look at guys on your tv screen and then play pick up basketball and be like "EH, I'm not that different from those guys." You really aren't - Some of these athletes are like nothing human.

Me said...

let me amend my comment to add that living w/i your means is a more important lesson than "follow your dream AT ANY COST". the reason this country is in the financial shape it is, is because people have not been limiting there spending. at some point there IS no more money. and frankly, how many parents don';t think their little sarlingis the next big thing?

brittiany said...

My little sister was a level 8 gymnast. My mom is a school cook and my dad works at a waste water plant. To support my sisters dream, my mom, sisters and I cleaned the gym twice a week. As a result my parents paid a fraction of the normal cost to train 16+ hours a week. I wish more Americans were willing to trade services instead of going into debt. My older sister and I were also able to join the dance team which is not cheap by any means. We never had to set aside our dreams to support another sibling as enty implies because where there a will there's a way.

All about Eve said...

She's a dedicated mother who tried to do her best for her talented daughter, but they are very lucky that Gabby has succeeded.

Bangagong said...

To be fair, she said that she hadn't told any of her 5 kids about the foreclosure situation and that she did not want to ask Ryan for the money. I have no doubt he would fork over some cash if he had known, expensive grill or not.

Agent**It said...

I didn't see in Enty's post any mention about other kids ? ?

Is that true?

Brenda L said...

I was working with a child who has the potential to be a world-class musician, I was working my contacts and I really believe he has what it takes. He's walked away from it though for drugs and alcohol. :-(

I don't think I could be in the presence of an Olympic-caliber genius and not TRY to find SOME way...

Molls said...

That's a difficult decision for a mother of a very talented child to make. When that child is winning competitions all the time and keeps moving up in the ranks, you don't take her out because you can't afford it. You find a way to support it. And the more she wins, the more you sacrifice to support her. Now Gabby can pay off the debt and they can get on with life.

MAC said...

@ Louise. I was gonna say the same thing earlier. You send your kids to college hoping that they don't decide 3 years in that they want to drop out and join the ping pong circuit. It's all blind faith...

Gary T. Burnaska said...

Sports have become way too expensive, why because parents are all about win win win to get that NIKE contract. So many of these ORGS are out to just BLEED these parents dry.

Just Screw it, take that money and buy savings bonds and to invest in the future the proper way.

DianaofThemyscira said...

It's very different when parents make a financial sacrifice for their child in an area where they show high talent and commitment, and the requirements and ultimate rewards are worth it. Please don't compare these moms to moms who stick their child in every extra curricular activity possible to see if something sticks whether their child asked for it or not and regardless if he/she shows any talent or commitment. I know too many moms who force their kids into a variety of activities just so they can brag about it and live vicariously through their kids never mind if their child is happy or sacrificing school grades to be dragged around town from one activity to the next. Given Gabby's accomplishments I don't understand why anyone would be so pressed over this. Her mother did and is doing the right thing. I doubt she regrets not "living within her means." We're not talking about people who stupidly or ignorantly wanted to buy a house so much even though they had too small an income and little to no down payment who then found themselves unable to pay the mortgage. Yes the banks are culpable for approving them but just a little education on the matter and it would have been obvious to them that they were not properly prepared to invest in the housing market just yet. If you're looking for examples of people truly not living within their means...

lilo723 said...

I am sure with Gabby's success, she will not even have to worry about bankruptcy anymore. It happens to everyone.

DianaofThemyscira said...

@brittiany Not sure if that would even occur to most Americans b/c we're so capitalist but it's actually not as impossible or unusual as they might think. I have a lot of friends who were trying to make it in the entertainment industry and they traded (non-sexual) services to get access to people, studio time, equipment, training, meetings/events, etc. If you're truly committed to your dream and can back that up with skill or at least deep commitment to learn nothing is impossible/unlikely/not worth it, and so you will find a way to realize that dream and it's not by making some magic deal with the devil/illuminati or spreading your legs or cheeks as so many like to assume b/c they probably tried (nowhere near hard enough) and failed. Some people, regardless of how or where they grew up, think that they are above doing certain menial tasks that would actually help them reach their goals. It's a shame but it's true and then they wonder why did that person make it and I'm still here at square one? Well, they didn't make a big stink about getting someone coffee, taking out the trash or doing the dishes b/c they went to colleve not did they pass up on a job that would've provided great access and opportunity b/c they would make more off of unemployment or they won't work for so little money. You wanna win big? Well, you gotta learn to make certain sacrifices to earn it babes. Like I said, you either are really committed and truly want it or you're just talk and seen willing to make the necessary sacrifices and put in the hard work. Not everyone is related to somebody and that's why they made. Plenty of people worked their asses off and they're not about to help someone accomplish the same when they're not even willing to work a third as hard.

Me said...

so what you're saying is that if your child is "special" or "talented", then its okay to spend whatever you want, even if you can't pay for it.

you know, there are probably a few moms (and dads) who's very talented and special kids didn't make the olympics. what this woman has taught her children is that making the olympics is more important than anything else, and that not paying your obligations as promissed is okay if it gets in the way of you goals. if those were the lessone she wanted to teach them, mission accomplished.

Comma Chaser said...

It was worth the investment, obviously. Gabby Douglas will likely get a ton of endorsements, and that will be enough to recoup Mom's debt many times over.

I don't see the problem here, specifically parents encouraging kids to dream big, and by way of that teaching them a hell of a lot of self-discipline along the way. How old is Gabby...16? 15? She hasn't even gone to college yet, and now she can bankroll it herself. Obviously, someone saw the talent there, pointed it out to her mom, and Hawkins took what I would call a calculated risk.

anita_mark said...

A gold medal doesn't automatically equal tons of money and endorsements. People have a very short memory and a lot (not all) of Olympic athletes are quickly forgotten afterwards. The endorsements aren't guaranteed.

The mom made her choice and is now dealing with the consequences. Why must everyone's life choice be ripped apart and judged?

DianaofThemyscira said...

It's unfortunate that people are this ignorant as to what basic investment/business entails or what filing for chapter 13 actually means. Successful businesses with even greater potential have to file occasionally to catch up with commitments but it doesn't mean the investment wasn't worthwhile or that they're irresponsible.

#lesigh

Sunny said...

@smashbash and @strawberry girl
Not sure if you two are still reading, but throw me into this category. I hate myself!!!!!!
http://jezebel.com/5931055/10-reasons-ryan-lochte-is-americas-sexiest-douchebag

McSpanky said...

Many, many, many, many parents go into great financial debt or worse to provide for their children. Why in the world is it remarkable just because thr kid is an athlete? this is a stupid post.

Marie said...

I don't understand the drama - if she has made arrangements to pay back her debts what is everyone worried about? She had a problem and had obvs found a solution, daughter in the Olympics or not.

Can we go back to bagging people who really deserve it? I've been in debt before n would hate to be ripped apart for it, especially considering I sorted it out n paid it off.

1Jazzimom said...

I can't imagine sending my 16 year old across the world without being with her. I'm glad that the mom is working on paying her debt. Shame that she and Ryan's mom are being singled out. I'm sure there are others out there who are in the same shape or worse.

Laurie-Anne R Collins said...

I speak from first hand experience as the sister of an Olympic gymnast whose dream didn't pan out to million dollar endorsements. When your kid is one of the best in the world at her sport, hell yeah you do it! You figure out a way to do it. Extra jobs, help from your community, whatever it takes. My family did and there were 4 of us to care for in addition to my sister. And hell no it wasn't easy. It was a hard, hard sacrifice for all of us. But what we understood was how talented she was and she proved it by making an Olympic team.

My family survived and thankfully never had to file bankruptcy. Watching Gabrielle's success was particularly sweet. It made me even prouder of what my sister accomplished and blows my mind that, wow, at one time she was also one of the best in the world in her sport. Two links for context http://princesskickass.blogspot.com/2012/08/first-african-american-olympic-gymnast.html and http://usagym.org/pages/post.html?PostID=6062 (FYI my immediate family is very fair skinned)

Agent**It said...

@Laurie-Anne R Collins

What a great story and I loved the picture of your sis. Really, really cool to read that. Inspiring.