Gabby Douglas paid a surprise visit to Lola, a 14-year-old competitive gymnast who is legally blind, on an episode of “The Doctors” this week.
Lola is, of course, an inspiration herself. But before Douglas came on the set, Lola said the Olympic all-around champion was her role model. Douglas’ childhood included leaving her family in Virginia at 14 to live and train with a host family in Iowa.
“A lot of it has to do with because of how she grew up that she still managed to make it to the Olympics, even though she had a really hard childhood,” Lola said.
Lola was asked what she would say to Douglas if she could talk to her. Lola didn’t have an answer.
Douglas then came out onto the stage. Lola appeared to remain speechless as Douglas hugged her amid standing applause.
“Oh my goodness,” Douglas said, as she fought back tears. “Wow, this is such an amazing moment for me. I just have to say I am starstruck, Lola. You are truly incredible. This truly shows what a mind can do. If you love something and have a passion for something, you won’t let anything stop you. You are amazing, Lola. Thank you so much.”
After more applause and hugs, Lola was asked again if she could think of something to say.
“,” Lola said, shaking her head.
Douglas had one more surprise left. She pulled out one of her 2012 Olympic gold medals and put it around Lola’s neck.
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U.S. 800m runner Nick Symmonds‘ right shoulder is apparently twice as valuable as his left shoulder.
The two-time Olympian auctioned ad space on his body for a second straight Olympic summer, with the final bid at $21,800 for nine square inches on his right shoulder in an Ebay auction that ended Thursday afternoon.
In 2012, Symmonds auctioned the same nine inches on his left shoulder for $11,100 to Hanson Dodge Creative, a marketing agency based in Milwaukee. Here’s what that temporary tattoo looked like.
The top bidder from this year’s auction, after 107 bids, has not yet been named.
Symmonds’ temporary tattoo was not visible during the 2012 Olympics or 2012 Olympic Trials, as rules mandate the advertisement is taped over in those events plus other IAAF competitions.
Symmonds, 32, finished fifth at the 2012 Olympics and second at the 2013 World Championships.
He was left off the 2015 World Championships roster, after winning the national title, after refusing to sign a USA Track and Field contract that required athletes to wear Nike-branded Team USA gear at team functions at Worlds.
Symmonds’ apparel sponsor has been Brooks since January 2014. He was previously a Nike-sponsored Oregon Track Club member for seven years.
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Karch Kiraly will continue as U.S. women’s volleyball team head coach through the 2020 Olympics, agreeing to a four-year contract renewal.
“It’s been a tremendous honor to lead this special group of intelligent, powerful, hard-working, dedicated women, and the great staff that supports them — and it’s a double honor to prepare for battle at the Rio Olympics, knowing we’ll have the opportunity to carry that work forward in the next quadrennial,” Kiraly said in a press release.
Kiraly, the only U.S. volleyball player to earn indoor and beach Olympic titles, took over after serving on Hugh McCutcheon‘s staff from 2009 through the 2012 Olympics, where the U.S. women took silver behind Brazil.
Kiraly then led the U.S. women to their first World or Olympic title in 2014. They are ranked No. 1 in the world ahead of China and Brazil.
The program has gone 50 years with zero Olympic golds and broke a 62-year World Championship drought in 2014.
Kiraly, 55, is set to become the first coach of multiple U.S. Olympic women’s volleyball teams since Terry Liskevych from 1988 through 1996.
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