Sunday, August 12, 2012

Gabby Is Taking That Smile All the Way …!

Gabby Douglas appears solo on the front of the Kellogg's Corn Flakes cereal box, as well as with her U.S. Olympic Fierce Five teammates. Photo courtesy of Kellogg's.

UNDOUBTEDLY, for most Americans one of the highlights of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games will be Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas’ gold medal wins, particularly in the all-around gymnastics competition.

Many have remarked that she’s the first black to win the all-around. Is it really so exceptional? Not really. GD's achievement is extraordinary because she's an extraordinary gymnast, not because she is black. She achieved nothing that other black girls potentially can not if they put in the time, effort and make the other necessary sacrifices. After all, blacks do not have a genetic defect that has made it impossible for them to win gold medals in the all-around. The defect lies in the paucity of blacks in the sport.

Logically, the greater the number of black gymnasts, the greater the likelihood of black gold medal gymnasts. To put a fine point on it, blacks have been MIA in the medal count, not because they lack the ability to win them but because they are grossly under-represented in the sport.

Anyway, Yours Truly will always remember GD’s accomplishment because it happened on 2 Aug., a very special day on my calendar. (See video below from Team USA of GB’s routines from the Olympic trials ).

Alexandr Vinokourov crossing the finish line after the men's road cycling race. Photo courtesy of AP.

With the Olympics coming to an end today, I am already growing nostalgic. Other personal highlights are Serena Williams crushing Maria Sharapova to take the gold medal in singles tennis, then winning another gold with sister, Venus, in doubles for the third-consecutive Olympics. It was gratifying to witness 38-year-old Kazakh Alexandr Vinokourov – a retiree after the Games and dismissed as an also-ran – take the Olympic gold in the men’s road cycling race. Ditto for Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, like the Williams sisters, doing a threepeat in their sport, beach volleyball.

One of the most incredible stories of the Games has been that of South African track star Oscar Pistorius. He became the first double-amputee to compete in the Games when he ran on prosthetic legs in the first heat of the men’s 400-meter race. While he made the semifinals, he did not qualify for the finals. Notwithstanding that result, his achievement is no less remarkable. His example can potentially inspire amputees everywhere, particularly young men and women who serve their countries and return home broken in both mind and body.

Of all the wonderful stories from these Games, GD's will be with me for some time, not only because of the date it took place but also because of the massively unnecessary bimbo interruptions. Seriously, folks? I won’t belabor the issue. No doubt, everyone has heard, unless s/he has been buried deep under a rock. Of course, it is all nonsense and born of envy, self-hatred, sheer stupidity and a need for intensive psycho-analysis. VEVLYN’S PEN writer at-large Daralyn Jay put it nicely, “Gabby needs to go on national TV and tell all the hair-haters to kiss her gold medals!”

Gabby can do much more than give her detractors a piece of her mind. Sponsors such as P&G and Kellogg’s are lining up to give the young Virginian sky, moon and stars. She looks like a million bucks on the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal box and she will be performing many dates during the 2012 Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions starting next month. With the Games behind her, GB's next big trial is getting her driver’s license. Reportedly, she wants an Acura NSX Roadster — "just like the one in 'The Avengers'." Will Acura soon be knocking at her door?

Indeed, Gabby can do much more to answer her critics. She can take that gazillion-dollar smile straight to the bank. Truly ... success is the best revenge.

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