Here at Patch, we are not fair-weather friends. We love you, in victory and in … what happened Monday and Tuesday.
We don’t care about your hair, except to say it’s lovely.
And we flat-out love your mom, Natalie Hawkins, for saying this:
“How ignorant is it of people to comment on her hair and she still has more competitions to go. Are you trying to ruin her self-confidence?," Hawkins told Fashionista.com. "She has to go out there and feel good about herself, and if she feels good about herself on that floor, who are you to criticize her? What have you done to help contribute to her dream, that you felt it necessary to put it out there so that she could see it?”
And you for saying this:
"Really?! I won two gold medals and made history and my hair is trending?”
Go, Gabby, Go. Go, Natalie, Go.
And speaking of your mom, we certainly don’t presume to judge her for filing bankruptcy. We’ve never tried to raise an Olympic athlete – at least most of us haven’t – so we’re not in a position to judge the financial impact on families like yours and Shawn Johnson’s.
What it does make us think about is the sacrifices parents make so their kids’ dreams can come true.
We think you are too nice to say anything, but someone needs to, figuratively speaking, hit those Fox News trolls over their pointy heads with a grain shovel for spewing that drivel about you and the other athletes not wrapping yourselves up in red, white and blue leotards.
Check this out.
Guest host Alisyn Camerota says:
“And some folks have noticed that American athletes’ uniforms don’t carry the Stars and Stripes look as much as they had in past years. The famous flag-style outfits worn in years past replaced with yellow shirts, gray tracksuits, pink leotards. So how do we show our patriotism at the games?”
Then talk-show host David Webb chimes in:
“What's wrong with showing pride? What we're seeing is this kind of soft anti-American feeling that Americans can't show our exceptionalism. Frankly, if they are offended about our showing our exceptionalism then they have that right and I don't care. And neither do most Americans.”
Maybe you could’ve put a stars-and-stripes doo-rag over your hair. That’ll set their tongues a-waggin’.
We are not that nice. So we’ll say it for you.
Please be still. You’re embarrassing yourselves, and America. This is your idea of “showing pride?” A country that eats its young?
We’ll say it again and again to drown out the haters who are too cynical to appreciate a story of a divorced mom who raised a gold-medal Olympic gymnast.
We’re proud of you. We’re flattered that you chose Liang Chow as your coach and West Des Moines as your home for two years. Thanks for letting us share your incredible accomplishments. You’re one of us, now, and we’re not letting you out of our hearts that easily.
Forever when we think of the face of pure joy, it will be yours at the London Olympics.
You should see all of us strutting around West Des Moines, bursting with pride about “our Gabby,” smiling with you as you made gold-medal history and hurting for you when you didn’t. And shushing anyone who wanted to talk about anything other than the sheer determination, mental and physical discipline it takes to do what you do so enchantingly well.
We’ve got your back, Gabby. Go have a wonderful, happy life full of new challenges and, hopefully, a chance to just be a kid. And don’t change a thing about your hair.
– Iowa Patch's editor, West Des Moines Editor