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Congratulations to the new Olympic All Around Champion in Women’s Gymnastics – Gabby Douglas! I honestly can not wait to see the coverage of the meet this evening in prime time since I was away from my desk and had to “watch” this epic competition unfold before my eyes on Twitter. (On a side note, the tweets from around the world from those watching the live fee were priceless – I’d venture to say better coverage than the commentators at times.)
When all was said and done, Gabby Douglas was first, Viktoria Komova of Russia took silver, Aliya Mustafina of Russia and Aly Raisman of the US tied for third. Unfortunately for Aly, FIG rules require the tie to be broken using the top 3 event scores for each gymnast. Aliya edged out Aly.
From all that I have heard reported – Gabby and Viktoria both went 4 for 4 – meaning no major mistakes for either of them. Aliya and Aly both had issues on beam, but were solid everywhere else.
As much as I am so happy for Gabby – especially having watched her grow up in the sport since her first State Meet in 2004 – I am really wondering what will happen next. Will she continue to train at Chow’s? Will she return home and train locally (and if so, where considering the drama behind her leaving Excalibur – the club that deserves just as much credit for developing her as Chow does)? Will she continue to train for Rio or will she opt to finish High School and compete in the NCAA?
And what about Aly? Four more years or college? I guess only time will tell, but in the meantime, I am proud of all our athletes, their performances and the hard work it took for them to get there!
Photo: USA Gymnastics via Facebook
When I was younger, I did gymnastics, did summer swim for years, took judo lessons, played softball, ran cross country, did a sprint triathlon or two, played racquetball with my brothers, waterskied in the summer, and basically stayed very active. When I was in my 30s I started to notice the toll running was taking on my body thanks to a genetic predisposition to arthritis. At 35 I suffered a series of ankle injuries – 2 sprains and a break. For the past few years the most activity I have done is taking walks with friends and coaching gymnastics.
The fact of the matter is, I miss my sports. I needed to find a sport that my body could handle, would get me outside, and would be something my husband and I could enjoy as we get older. Since my husband already plays golf, I thought I’d give it a try.
Last year for Mother’s Day I got the purple golf clubs I had been wanting. For my birthday I got a gift certificate for golf lessons, and this spring I decided to turn my back yard into a golf practice range! I have been out in the yard practicing my swing, hitting the light practice balls and trying to figure out how to decide which club to use.
Friday I finally got to give my skills a test and played my first full 9 holes of golf ever – at 40. I had so much fun!
We played the “Island” course and it was definitely a challenge. I learned what the difference between the white posts, blue posts, gold posts and red post were. Red are the ladies tee boxes and I was really grateful for them. We had plenty of water hazards to deal with – yep, I lost 4 balls to water, and it was a challenge to keep track of my boring white golf ball. I am seriously going to look for something a little more lively – like bright pink, orange or blue. (like these Precept Lady iQ 180 Pink 1 Golf Balls)
So my average was about 7 strokes per hole, which I know is horrible, but you have to start somewhere. I know that from here out I will be making foward progess, learning the rules of the game, relaxing my stroke, and appreciating the fresh air.
But most of all, I really am excited about learning a new sport – because you know how the saying goes…You CAN teach and old dog new tricks!
Two notable Olympians of the past, Brandi Chastain and Kerri Strug, will be donning orange laces and helping raise money for a good cause on November 2, 2008 as they run in the New York City Marathon sponsored by ING.
Soccer star, Brandi Chastain, who was part of the US Womens Soccer team for 13 years (1991-2004) is most remembered for her part in the US win over China in the 1999 World Championship. Her famous celebratory removal of her jersey is one of the most memorable images in sport.
Kerri Strug is best known for her courageous vault at the 1996 Olympics where she landed on one foot in pain. Her ankle was severely sprained yet she chose to do a second vault in order to help the US and her Magnificent Seven teammates win team gold.
The two will join others in the ING Run for Something Better campaign to help community and school based youth running programs. Running is one of the least expensive and easiest sports to get kids hooked on! It is another effort to help teach children the benefits of exercise and to try combat childhood obesity trends.
You can help support ING Run for Something Better and get your own orange laces.