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Wednesday August 27 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.

Paul Chryst sat at a table in Greensboro, North Carolina, answering questions from the media. The third-year Pitt head coach was certainly anxious to wrap up the interview session and catch his plane back to Pittsburgh, but he was also at ease.
Editor's DeskFeature OnePitt Football
Forty years ago, Tommy John, a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, walked into Dr. Frank Jobe’s office with an injured elbow and told him to “make something up.”
Feature TwoNorth Shore Notes
Here’s what we know: Mike Johnston wasn’t the Penguins’ first choice to replace Dan Bylsma this summer.
Blue LineFeature ThreeTop Story
When Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis June 10, he made an immediate impact, going on a 14-game hitting streak and adding a consistent bat at the top of the lineup.
Feature FourNorth Shore Notes
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With a brand new playoff system in place this season, it doesn't matter who finishes No. 1 at the end of the regular season -- the top four teams will meet in a two-round tournament to decide the national champion.
Custom 1NationalTop Story
A quick glimpse at the 2014 Pitt football teams reveals some major red flags. A veteran quarterback and the program's all-time leading wide receiver have departed for the NFL.
Custom 2Pitt FootballTop Story
After 45 years of one head coach and two more of another, a different figure will be pacing up and down the sidelines at Beaver Stadium this season.
Custom 3Penn StateTop Story
The last two years have not been what WVU football fans were expecting. Ever since the Mountaineers made the switch to the Big 12, their success has slowly dwindled.
Custom 4Top StoryWVU