By Alena C. Gaede
Special to BVN
ONTARIO – Can’t get enough Gabby Douglas? You can still see her perform with her ‘gold medal’ teammates on the 40-city Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastic Champions. Kellogg’s has surrounded Gabby Douglas and the ‘Fierce Five’ in a two-hour show that showcases the artistic beauty of gymnastics. The cast includes 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin, also past and current Olympians from both the men and women’s national teams.
Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas, less than a month ago, on the world’s stage in London, became the first athlete of color to win gymnastics gold in two events. She took gold in the team event and the sports premier glamour event, the individual artistic all-around.
Douglas, the sixteen year old from Virginia Beach has become the new ‘golden girl’ of gymnastics. Featured on magazine covers from Sports Illustrated to JET, she has imbedded herself into the conscience of a nation and the hearts of little girls everywhere.
The media has seized the moment as Gabby has recently appeared on Oprah, Stephen Colbert, the MTV Music Awards with Alicia Keys and the Ellen Degeneres reunion show on Monday. Just for good measure, CNN spotted her at the Democratic National Convention in South Carolina.
Historically, Douglas joins one of her heroes, Dominique Dawes, as the only other African American to earn a gold medal in the Olympic games. If you recall, Dawes was part the ‘Magnificent Seven’ at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta. Dawes and Douglas have developed a special nurturing relationship prior to the London games. Douglas has shown unusual maturity beyond her years. When asked about her mistakes on various rotations in London, she said, “Well, we do get tired and lose a little concentration, but we are all champions here, performing at the highest level. We make a few mistakes, but we are still winners!”
Currently featured on the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes box, Gabby Douglas is definitely a centerpiece for the Kellogg’s Tour of Champions. The tour is comprised of current and past Olympic athletes to include rhythmic and acrobatic gymnasts, trampoline and tumbling. Additionally, local club gymnasts will also join the production.
Nastia Liukin, 2008 Olympic all-around champion is a major feature of the show. Born in Moscow, her story is quite compelling. She trained in the U.S. and competed and won Olympic gold as an American. Although she missed making the London team, she shines on the Kellogg’s Tour. Her routines include performing high above the show floor, wrapped in netting. Nastia is a very entertaining crowd favorite.
The Olympians, both men and women, bring explosive, high energy to the show. Patrons will enjoy the athletes on their respective apparatus, in rapid succession. The men, featuring John Orozco were particularly entertaining on the rings and high bar. The women performed simultaneous routines on floor, uneven bars and the beam. Douglas performed mostly on the uneven bar. The crowd was definitely geared up for Gabby and was left asking for more. As the show travels, it would be nice to see Gabby featured on the center stage in a floor routine with members of the ‘fierce five.’ The crowd would certainly expect it.
Kellogg’s and Gabrielle Douglas will both be around for a while. To catch the Southern California swing, go kelloggstour.com. The event will continue in San Diego - September 13th, Los Angeles Staples Center –September 15th and the Anaheim Honda Center on September 16th.
After winning gold in London on August 2nd, Gabrielle Douglas tweeted: “Let all that I am praise the Lord, may I never forget the good things he does for me.”