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Gabby Douglas: I almost quit gymnastics to work at Chick-fil-A (+video)

(National Monitor) Olympic champion Gabby Douglas almost quit gymnastics to work at Chick-fil-A, according to the New York Daily News. Ms. Douglas and her teammates, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross, Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber, won the gold at this summer’s 2012 London Olympic Games.

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“I can get a job at Chick-Fil-A in Virginia Beach and live off the 14-grand I just won at World Championships,” Ms. Douglas wrote in her new memoir, “Grace, Gold & Glory.” “I just want to be a normal teenage kid.”

Ms. Douglas’ journey to the 2012 London Olympic Games was not an easy one. In addition to the grueling workout schedule and training sessions, the gold medal-winning gymnast also had to deal with resentment against her father.

According to her memoir, Ms. Douglas had not seen her father for two years when she happened to spot him up in the stands at a meet before the Olympics. The gymnast said that the sight of her father put her on edge before the competition.

“Dad began telling the media how he always supported me in my gymnastics career,” Ms. Douglas wrote. “The truth is that he didn’t.”

Ms. Douglas said that her father texted her later that day asking that she autograph a few items for her.

Ms. Douglas and her teammates recently visited the White House and met with President Barack Obama. According to The Associated Press, the gymnasts, known as the “Fierce Five,” missed a White House visit earlier this year because of their national tour schedule.

The Fierce Five’s Olympic success has thrust the gymnasts into the national spotlight, giving them the opportunity to ring the New York Stock Exchange closing bell, help Al Roker with the weather on NBC’s “Today” show and appear with David Letterman on CBS’ “Late Show.”

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Ms. Douglas’ teammate, McKayla Maroney, showed Mr. Letterman her now infamous “not impressed” expression.

Ms. Douglas and First Lady Michele Obama appeared together on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” During the appearance, Mrs. Obama teased the gymnast for “splurging on a McDonald’s Egg Mcmuffin” after winning the gold medal.

“‘Yea, Gabby, don’t encourage that! But I’m sure it was on a whole wheat muffin.” Mrs. Obama said in response.

In her memoir, Ms. Douglas also discusses her struggles with insults at the Virginia gym where she began her training. She notes that when she was 12 years old one of her coaches told her that she needed a nose job. The gymnast’s rivals piggybacked on the coach’s suggestions and taunted Gabby about her nose.

Later, Ms. Douglas said, she asked her mom if she was pretty. Her mom said yes.

Ms. Douglas was the first African American to win the title of best all-around gymnast at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

“Oh, my gosh, I forgot about that,” Ms. Douglas said after winning the gold medal, according to “It’s definitely an amazing feeling and great honor to be the first African-American to win. I hope I can inspire people. My mother told me that I can inspire a nation.”

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National Monitor


President Obama, McKayla Maroney ‘not impressed’ photo spreads fast

By Associated Press

A photo of the Olympic gold medalist gymnast and President Barack Obama doing her now-famous “McKayla Maroney is not impressed” face went viral Saturday after the White House posted it on Twitter. The two took the picture Thursday when Maroney and her Fierce Five teammates visited the White House.

“He was the one who brought it up,” Maroney told The Associated Press. “We were about to leave and he said, ’I want to talk to you one second about the face.’ He said, ’I pretty much do that face at least once a day.’”

Photo credit: Pete Souza / White House | Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney and President Barack Obama do the medalist's famous "not impressed" face in the Oval Office at the White House on Thursday. (Nov. 15, 2012)

Maroney was photographed making the half scowl with her nose scrunched up while she was on the medals podium after winning silver on vault at the London Olympics. It spawned dozens of “McKayla Maroney is not impressed” memes — including one showing a photoshopped Maroney in the White House Situation Room on the night Osama Bin Laden was killed.

The “face” has become Maroney’s trademark. But it’s one thing for fans to ask her about it, quite another when the president does.

“I, like, freaked out,” Maroney said. “He said, ’Let’s do it together.’ We took a picture and now it’s everywhere.”

The entire U.S. Olympic team visited the White House earlier this fall, but the Fierce Five missed it because they’re doing a 40-city nationwide tour. But the show, which ends Sunday in New York, was in Washington on Thursday night, so Maroney, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber got their own private visit.

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The Fierce Five had talked to Obama in London, where they became just the second U.S. women’s team to win the Olympic title, and first since 1996. But it was neat to meet him in person, Maroney said.

“He’s the coolest person I ever met,” she said — which is saying something, considering the Fierce Five have hobnobbed with a Who’s Who of celebrities since London. “He’s got the hardest job in the entire world.”

Maroney had hinted on Twitter that she had done “the face” at the White House, saying, “Did I just do the Not Impressed face with the President.” But she didn’t know when — or even if — the White House was going to release the photo.

Her father saw it first and sent Maroney a text message. It wasn’t long before pretty much everyone was passing it around.
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“It’s really funny,” she said. “Because it’s like everywhere.”

© Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Gabby Douglas Tosses First Pitch at Mets Game

Gold-medal winning Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas threw out the first pitch at Citi Field before Thursday’s Mets-Rockies game.

“I’m a little more nervous, Douglas said before the big pitch. Everyone just tells me to throw the ball hard, so I’m going to throw it hard.”

The gymnast made a strong throw to Robert Carson and received a loud ovation from the crowd.

Getty Images - Olympic games gold medalist Gabby Douglas, left, poses for a picture with New York Mets third baseman David Wright.

The appearance was part of a post-Olympic publicity tour for Douglas, who also recently sat down with Oprah Winfrey, Jay Leno and David Letterman.

“I wanted everyone to know my story, know where I came from, know my background  because it was not easy,” Douglas said, according to the New York Daily News. “I had to face a lot coming through this journey, a lot of sacrifices, difficulties, challenges, and injuries. I wanted everyone to know it’s still possible for anyone really. I wanted to make them know to never give up and always keep fighting, because though times may be tough, the sacrifices do pay off, so just keep pushing towards your dream and just love it at the same time and enjoy it,” Douglas said.

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Missing African judoka ‘on holiday’ – official

Published by EOTM News Editor on August 14th, 2012 - in Breaking News, Olympics 2012, Sports, Sports News, World News

Missing African judoka ‘on holiday’ – official (via AFP)

A judoka and three coaches from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Olympic delegation, listed as having gone missing after leaving the Athletes’ Village at the London Games, missed their flight home – but the judoka says he is on holiday, an official source said Tuesday. Cedric Mandembo, who competed…


London says goodbye to Olympics with musical finale

Published by EOTM News Editor on August 13th, 2012 - in Breaking News, Olympics 2012, Sports, Sports News, World News

London says goodbye to Olympics with musical finale (via AFP)

Athletes streamed out of London on Monday after two weeks of spectacular Olympic sport closed in a blaze of colour and music that turned the world’s attention to the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Olympics President Jacques Rogge praised the Games as “happy and glorious” before London bade farewell…


Olympics 2012: Closing Ceremony

Published by EOTM News Editor on August 12th, 2012 - in Breaking News, Olympics 2012, Sports, Sports News, World News

Olympics 2012: Live Report (via AFP)

So that’s it for this Live Report — thanks for being with us during this momentous Games. LIVE REPORT ENDS. 2337 GMT: As we prepare to wrap up this Live Report on the last day of the Olympics, we will leave you with our PICTURE OF THE DAY — fireworks going off around the Olympic Stadium during the…


Spice Girls tipped for closing ceremony

Spice Girls tipped for closing ceremony (via AFP)

The Spice Girls are expected to be among the diverse array of stars performing in Sunday’s Olympic Games closing ceremony, entitled “A Symphony of British Music”. George Michael, Muse and Ed Sheeran have broken the ring of silence surrounding the event and confirmed they are among the acts taking part…


2012 Olympic Medal Count

Published by EOTM News Editor on August 11th, 2012 - in Breaking News, Olympics 2012, Sports, Sports News, World News

Team USA expanded what was already its widest lead of the London Olympics Friday, adding four medals to China’s one and pushing its lead in both the 2012 Olympic medal count and its gold medal variant—to 13 and four, respectively.

Phelps bids Olympics a golden farewell

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America leads the way with 94 medals overall and 41 golds, leaving China firmly in second place with 81 (37/25/19.) Erstwhile communist rival Russia seems to have solidified its tenuous claim on third place, with a 63 (15/21/27) that nevertheless looks a little less impressive than host nation Great Britain’s 57 (25/15/17.)

@London2012 @Olympics officially begins

Many countries are set to make big strides in the medal count on Saturday and Sunday, as many events that have spanned the entire London Games will reach completion.

Who will shine brightest on these final days of the 2012 Olympics? Leave your comments below.

Campbell-Brown chases Games treble as Semenya debuts

Published by EOTM News Editor on August 8th, 2012 - in Breaking News, Olympics 2012, Sports, Sports News, World News

Campbell-Brown chases Games treble as Semenya debuts (via AFP)

Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown will attempt an unprecedented Olympic treble on Wednesday as Usain Bolt prepares to edge closer to his second gold of the Games. Campbell-Brown, winner of the 200m at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, will become the first woman in history to win an individual athletics…