Gabby Douglas

Gabby Douglas surprises blind gymnast (video)

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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.

Video: Bo Jackson surprises Paralympian Blake Leeper

USA Hockey to start reaching out to potential replacement players

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USA Hockey will begin reaching out to “alternate players” to determine their interest in playing for the U.S. at the women’s world championship next week amid a potential boycott by its national team.

The contact is taking place in the event a resolution cannot be reached between USA Hockey and the women’s national team in a wage dispute.

“It’s important for everyone to understand clearly that our objective is to have the players we named as the U.S. women’s national team be the ones that compete in the world championship,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, in a statement. “Productive conversations have taken place this week and are ongoing in our collective efforts to reach a resolution.”

The alternate players are in the professional NWHL and college, according to USA Today.

The world championship tournament starts March 31 in Plymouth, Mich.

As of Thursday evening, no resolution has come between USA Hockey and its women’s national team. Neither side has said when its next scheduled meeting will take place.

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MORE: NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

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International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel tells The Associated Press he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in the South Korea Olympics next year.

NHL team owners have made it clear they don’t want to stop their season again for the Winter Games and put their stars at risk of injury. The reluctance has come up before and yet the NHL has participated in the Olympics since 1998. This time, however, there seems to be an impasse.

The head of the NHL Players Association, Donald Fehr, says the players want to participate and hopes the league will take advantage of the chance to market the game in Asia.

However, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says without “material change to the current status quo, NHL players will not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics.”

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MORE: 2018 Olympic hockey groups set