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Saturday July 26 2014
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Keep On Smiling

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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.

I was in a minor league press box in Charlotte, NC, last month, taking in one of Gregory Polanco’s final triple-A games. A colleague, upon learning I was from Pittsburgh, approached me with a question.
Editor's DeskFeature One
Quick. Fill in the blank: The Steelers’ current receiving corps is (fill in the blank). Deep? Bottom-heavy? Talented yet unproven?
Feature TwoPenn StatePure Steel
Steve Blass was signed by the Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1960 and made his major league debut in 1964. From 1968 through 1972, Blass was one of the National League’s best pitchers.
Feature ThreeNorth Shore Notes
It’s an odd thought for Sterling Jenkins. It’s still a year away, but after he finishes his senior year at Baldwin High School, he’ll be playing college football at Penn State.
Feature FourHigh SchoolPenn State
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Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 USS HS GOTWHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... COGOS Feature MatchupMisc YouTube Player 3High School TV Channel
In Dr. Pat Farabaugh’s book “An Unbreakable Bond,” he tells the unedited story of Pittsburgh native and St. Francis (PA) grad Maurice Stokes and his NBA teammate, fellow Pittsburgher Jack Twyman.
Custom 1Small CollegesTop Story
When Pittsburgh canine officer Rocco died in the line of duty in January, Chris Benson of Benstonium.com created a design to pay tribute to the fallen officer. When The Black N Gold Girls shared his design on Facebook, their followers decided to help.
Custom 2Sports Bites
The NHL handed out their annual awards at the end of June, and the Penguins' Sidney Crosby captured a hat trick, securing the Hart Trophy (MVP), Art Ross Trophy (scoring champ) and the Ted Lindsay Award (MVP as voted by the players).
Blue LineCustom 3
Pittsburgh is city full of sports heroes and legendary figures. The list of Pittsburgh sports legends is long, but it begins with the following four men.
Custom 4Sports Bites