PSR ANYTIME. ANYWHERE. Introducing the Pittsburgh Sports Report eMagazine. Click to read and watch the best sports coverage in the region.
Saturday January 31 2015
Leave this field empty.

Keep On Smiling

PSR Logo
It was her smile that got me. That beautiful, joy-filled smile flashed by Gabby Douglas, as she completed her gold-medal clinching performance with her floor routine. She was having fun. Period. The true symbol of what sports are all about.

When the cameras cut away to Gabby's family in the stands, I joined many parents around the country that shed a tear. We were happy, not only for this talented young dynamo and her proud family, but happy that we have the same opportunity to share similar moments of athletic competition with our children and grandchildren.


As Gabby twisted through the air, I recalled my own experience of watching my daughter extend her hands, vaulting through the air for the first time in gymnastics' competition, frightened and proud at the same time. My little girl, performing skills—in mid-air, no less—that I could never imagine. Gaining confidence about her abilities, challenging herself to push her body to its maximum genetic potential, and having a blast doing it.


Although she's no longer competing, her gymnastics experiences were important ones in her development as a young girl. Learning athletic skills, trusting her coaches, being a good teammate, and learning about winning and losing are all life skills that she was exposed to through athletic competition.


Sometimes in pressure-packed moments, the difference between winning and losing came down to whether or not she would stick her landing on the final routine of the day. And as her parents, we got to see her in action – ready for consoling hugs or congratulatory high-fives, whatever the situation called for.


Those embraces continue today with the twists and turns life throws at us all. But what we experienced, as parents and children, can be a great foundation for life's experiences. Seeing Gabby's smiles and her mother's tears is a reminder for us all who are involved in our children's sports... just being there means the most.


The gold-hearted moments of watching our kids play sports – for the fun of it.

Share
The only surprising thing about Pitt’s ouster of Steve Pederson as athletic director is the fact that it’s seen as a surprise.
Editor's DeskFeature OnePitt Football
The Steelers 2014 draft was a hit or miss proposition after one year in the books: one big hit, a few solid performances with more potential heading into year two, and several swings and misses.
Feature TwoPure Steel
In an NFL season with no truly dominant teams, there were nonetheless several dominant performances from some very special players. Here's a nod to those players and coaches who stood out above the rest.
Feature ThreePure Steel
Pitt introduced Pat Narduzzi as their new head football coach last month. The former Michigan State defensive coordinator replaces Paul Chryst, who left for Wisconsin at the conclusion of the Panthers season.
Feature FourPitt Football
PSR VIDEO
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Steelers TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3College Sports TV Channel
While the Pirates National League Central rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs, made major waves this offseason, Pittsburgh was busy making some under-the-radar additions to their roster.
Custom 1North Shore Notes
While Pirates general manager Neal Huntington has been known to make major moves during spring training or even in April, the Pirates 2015 line-up appears to relatively set.
Custom 2North Shore Notes
Being a baseball fan requires a great deal of patience. The 162-game slog of a season is comprised of tens of thousands of individual moments.
Custom 3North Shore Notes
When the Pirates re-signed A.J. Burnett this off-season, many fans and media questioned why they would bring in the 2014 league leader in losses.
Custom 4North Shore NotesTop Story