PUBLISHED: 08:34 EST, 5 August 2012 | UPDATED: 08:45 EST, 5 August 2012
Just months before Gabby Douglas triumphed at the London Games – and paved the way to a potential $10 million windfall from commercial deals – her mother allegedly filed for bankruptcy.
Natalie Hawkins filed for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, according to documents submitted earlier this year in Virginia, reported TMZ.
The documents show that Hawkins, who has previously spoken out about gymnastics being an expensive sport, has debt totalling $79,754.14.
Struggles: Natalie Hawkins, the mother of US gymnast Gabrielle Douglas, filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy this year
The documents state that Hawkins has assets totalling $163,706.10 and show she owes Capital One, Sprint, and T-Mobile more than $6,000. Her creditors also include an Orthodontist in Iowa, where Gabby trained aged 14, and a student loan of $4,350.23.
Hawkins, who raised her four children largely on her own and is in the middle of divorcing her soldier husband, started paying off her debt in February with monthly installments of $408.
However, after her 16-year-old daughter’s stunning performance to secure two gold medals last week, the family’s financial troubles will quickly disappear.
Going for gold: Gabby Douglas gave a stunning performance to win her gold medal last week. The success comes after her mother struggled to pay for her training and racked up debts of almost $78,000
‘The Flying Squirrel’ is already sponsored by consumer goods firm P&G, who have released a video featuring Hawkins discussing her early success, and her commercial deals will continue to stack up.
The gymnast has a healthy, wholesome and all-American image which would be attractive to plenty of companies – and which could earn her $9-10million over the next four years, according to marketing expert Dan Migala.
The success will be particularly sweet for the family who struggled to pay for Gabby’s training.
‘Gymnastics is an expensive sport,’ Ms Hawkins said. With Gabby’s father Staff Sgt Timothy Douglas serving in the U.S. army abroad, the family applied for military scholarships to help fund Gabby’s training.
In 2006, she received a $500 grant from Our Military Kids, a non-profit that helps fund children’s activities while their parents are overseas. That funding paid for her to attend a gymnastics camp in Texas with renowned coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi – who stayed by Gabby’s side and helped her win the gold in London.
‘In the grand scheme of things, $500 may not seem like that much money, but it made the difference between keeping Gabby at home and sending her to a camp that would play a part in molding her into the Olympic gymnast she is today,’ Hawkins said.
Triumph: Gabby’s commercial deals will continue to stack up after her Olympic success sent her flying into the hearts of the nation
After that camp, Gabby told her mum that she wanted to move from their home in Virginia Beach, Va., to train with Chow, who coached Shawn Johnson in 2008.
Hawkins said absolutely not; there was no way she was allowing the youngest of her four children to move halfway across the country at 14.
But Gabby’s two older sisters lobbied on her behalf, giving their mother a list of reasons why Gabby should be allowed to go.
Hawkins finally relented, but not without many second thoughts, including: ‘That I was crazy. I must have lost my marbles. But she wanted this more than anything.’
The risk paid off more than the family could have imagined.
Ryan Lochte is another U.S. Olympic gold medalist who may be pouring his earnings into pulling his family out of alleged financial troubles.
The swimming champion’s parents are allegedly so deep in debt they may lose their home, reported TMZ.
However, the Lochte’s allegedly stopped making payments in February 2011 and now owe $242,239 on the home, according to the bank. The bank is now suing to foreclose on the home and get their money back.
Family fortunes: Ryan Lochte’s parents Steve and Ileane are allegedly hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt with a bank suing to foreclose on their Florida home. The Olympic swimming star is pictured here with his 60-year-old father
Financial troubles: Lochte’s parents allegedly stopped paying off their mortgage in 2011 and now are swimming in $242,239 of debt. Ryan is seen here with his mother, Ileane
However, if the sale of the Lochte home does not cover the costs of the couple’s entire debt the bank wants them to pay the difference.
Last month Ileane Lochte filed a motion to dismiss the case although a judge has yet to rule.
As Ryan Lochte celebrated his 28th birthday yesterday with a haul of five Olympic medals – two gold, two silver and one bronze, his newfound fame put his family under the spotlight.
Facing foreclosure: CitiMortgage is suing to foreclose on the Lochte’s home and get their money back
The MailOnline revealed earlier this week that Ryan’s younger brother Devon, 22, a one-time strong aspiring swimmer, was busted for allegedly selling marijuana to a police informant earlier this year in Florida.
Olympic glory: Lochte has won two gold medals, two silver and one bronze in the 2012 London Games
Devon had once announced to the world that he hoped to compete alongside his brother on an Olympic relay team someday but gave up swimming last year.
60-year-old Steve Lochte has also had a run-in with the police when he was arrested for a DUI in 2010, it was revealed this week.
A misdemeanor DUI would mean that Mr Lochte was stripped of his license for one year, Gainesville Police Officer Ben Tobias told the Mail Online.
Ryan Lochte holds the world record in the 4×200 meter freestyle relay and the world record in the 200-meter individual medley and the 400-meter individual medley.
He has been named the World Swimmer of the Year once and both the American Swimmer of the Year and the FINA Swimmer of the Year award twice.
With 59 medals from international competition, 39 gold, 11 silver, and nine bronze, he beat out Michael Phelps this week for the gold in the 400 IM and is often referred to as ‘the best swimmer in the world.’
The 28-year-old hails from a family of swimmers. His parents are both swim coaches and sisters Kristin and Megan swam in college. Brandon, the youngest of the family, prefers basketball.
As a young boy, Ryan didn’t take swimming seriously, messing around in the pool during his father’s lessons. He started to focus on his swimming at Spruce Creek High School. Ryan has said that after losing at the Junior Olympics aged 14 he became determined to train hard and not lose again.
He graduated from the University of Florida in 2007, where he had a storied swimming career as a seven-time NCAA champion.