( 4UMF NEWS ) Gabby Douglas Throws First Pitch:
Gabby Douglas was at Citi Field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch Thursday, but not even the gold-medal winning American gymnast’s megawatt smile could brighten the Mets’ day as they concluded a miserable four-game sweep to the Rockies.
As part of her whirlwind tour following a breakthrough turn at the London Olympics, the gold medal-winning American gymnast also spoke to kids at a charity event before the game.
“I wanted to tell my story and where I came from and my background, because it was not easy,” the 16-year-old Douglas said. “I had to face a lot coming through this journey, a lot of sacrifices, difficulties, challenges, and injuries.
“So I wanted everyone to know it’s still possible for anyone really. I wanted to make them know to never give up and always keep fighting, because though times may be tough, the sacrifices do pay off, so just keep pushing towards your dream and just love it at the same time and enjoy it.”
Douglas, who won the all-around individual gold medal and a team gold in London, said she never played baseball or softball growing up — “just gymnastics” — and admitted, “I don’t know anyone.”
Douglas had “heard” that Mets star David Wright hails from the same Virginia area she grew up in before leaving her family to train with coach Liang Chow in Iowa in 2010. She took photos with Wright shortly before tossing a clean first pitch to Mets pitcher Robert Carson. Douglas said she bounced a similar throw before a Triple-A Iowa Cubs game in 2010.
“I did it once before, but this is like major, so I’m a little bit nervous,” she said. “Everyone just tells me to throw the ball hard, so I’ll throw it hard.”
Douglas stands to earn big money in endorsements following her double-gold performance; her likeness already has landed on boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.
“It’s all been cool,” she said.