Saturday, April 20, 2013
As weird as ever, Iowa never disappoints.
It's been a challenging week for our country, so we hope a little dose of Iowa's beautiful weirdness can bring a smile to your face. Let's start with Iowa weird weather, which frankly is always weird. But this truly stands out. Eastern Iowa was hammered with rain this week causing flooding that closed roads, destroyed basements and otherwise rankled life. But, that's not weird. That's terrible, right? Here's the weird part. How often do you hear about a mudslide in Iowa? In Iowa City, the heavy rain loosened the ground, causing tons of mud to slide down a steep hill next to University of Iowa's Mayflower Residence Hall. The mud dumped 5-feet deep in some part of the parking lot, covering some cars. Next up, gold medalist Gabby Douglas' …
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Liang Chow has coached a pair of Olympic champions. What does that mean back home in West Des Moines?
Liang Chow is rapidly becoming the go-to coach for Olympic gold. Two gymnasts from his West Des Moines gym not only won gold, but the hearts of fans around the world. And Chow, who smiled and hugged his star students through back-to-back Olympiads, is earning a place in their hearts as well. In the Beijing 2008 Olympics, West Des Moines native Shawn Johnson won four medals, including the gold on the balance beam. Four years later at the London 2012 Olympics, Gabby Douglas burst onto the women’s gymnastics scene, dazzling the world with a gold-medal-winning performance in the women’s all-around comeptition after first stealing their hearts in the gold-medal team performance. “I don’t ever recall anybody this quickly rising from an average …
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Both were criticized at the London 2012 Olympics for “weird reasons.”
Gabby Douglas was the new kid on the block at the London 2012 Olympics, and more experienced athletes were looking out for her. When the two-time gold medal gymnast was criticized for her hair, of all things – presumably not an easy thing to control while hanging upside down or flying through the air with a power that earned her the “Flying Squirrel” moniker – one other Team USA member in particular bristled. But Douglas handled it just fine, said Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones, a Des Moines native who faced criticism for “weird reasons,” she said. Asked by a reporter at a news conference before a big welcome-home party Saturday what advice the more-experienced Olympian would give Douglas on handling the scrutiny, she said he had it backward…
Saturday, August 18, 2012
After her stellar performance in the London 2012 Olympics, Gabby Douglas has a new goal that has nothing to do with gymnastics.
DES MOINES, IOWA – Gabby Douglas says she’s still “fresh and young” and fully expects to be in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics, but that's not the goal that's driving her right now. First things first. And, first, the 16-year-old Olympics champion wants what most 16-year-old kids who aren't national heroes want: A driver’s license. “I’m working on that,” she told about 3,500 Iowans Saturday who turned out to greet her and other Olympians with Iowa ties during a big welcome-home party Saturday. And then she wants a car. With the endorsement deals coming her way, that could be one sweet ride for the 4-foot-11 gymnast whose “it factor” – a combination of quickness, strength and grace – charmed Olympic audiences around the world. Douglas …
Iowans don’t seem eager to leave the London 2012 Olympics behind.
Thousands strong, Iowans filled a sports coliseum on the Drake University campus in Des Moines with their bodies, certainly, but also with their hearts at Saturday morning's warm welcome-home party for an all-star lineup of Olympic athletes. The crowd made it clear that these young athletes with Iowa ties firmly reside in the collective Iowa heart --,with admiration in every beat – for their drive and , their athletic prowess and their grace, in victory and in defeat. "They deserve this, right?” said Keith Murphy, the amiable sports director for WHO-TV, who emceed the welcome-home celebration. The crowd – about 3,500 strong – answered with thundering applause. The all-star lineup included two champions: Gabby Douglas, the West Des Moines-…
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
All five gymnasts, who won team gold at the London 2012 Olympics, squeezed onto the couch Tuesday night to chat with the "Late Show" host.
- Deb Belt
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The U.S. women's gymnastics team from the London 2012 Olympics continued its blitz of TV shows Tuesday night with an appearance on the "Late Show With David Letterman." Two-time gold medalist Gabby Douglas -- who moved to West Des Moines to train for the past two years at Chow's Gymnastics -- had the favorite position closest to Dave on the team couch. On Monday night Douglas chatted with First Lady Michelle Obama and host Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show." Douglas became the third straight U.S. athlete and first African-American to win the all-around title, the website said. She and her teammates gave the U.S. its first Olympic title in women's gymnastics since 1996. Letterman asked the girls what sport other than gymnastics they think they …
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
The public is invited to the “welcome home” event Saturday at Drake’s Knapp Center.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
A news release from Hy-Vee: Hy-Vee has announced plans for a special celebration to honor athletes with Iowa ties who competed for Team USA in the London 2012 Olympic Games. The homecoming event will be held Saturday, Aug. 18 at 11 a.m. at the Knapp Center at Drake University. The event is free of charge and open to the public. Jon Wendel, Hy-Vee’s executive vice president of marketing, said the celebration will recognize Team USA athletes who were born in Iowa, attended school in Iowa or currently live in Iowa. “These men and women competed with honor and represented our country and our state with pride,” Wendel said. “As Iowans, we want to show our appreciation to them for their dedication and achievement.” Invitations to the athletes …
Two-time gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas chatted with First Lady Michelle Obama last night on "The Tonight Show." Tonight she's Dave's guest on "Late Show With David Letterman."
The London 2012 Olympics are officially over. The flame is out and now the stars of the games -- the gold-medal women's gymnastics team -- are making the rounds of TV shows. Monday night Gabby Douglas -- who moved to West Des Moines to train for the past two years at Chow's Gymnastics -- chatted with First Lady Michelle Obama and host Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show." According to the Huffington Post, Gabby admitted indulging in post-Olympics McDonald's food to the wrong person: healthy food advocate Obama, who teased the gymnastics champion. "You're setting me back, Gabby," Obama told Douglas, according to a network transcript. Douglas became the third straight U.S. athlete and first African-American to win the all-around title, the website…
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Full NBC television schedule includes a retrospective of Iowa's Gabby and others who are bringing home the gold as well as a look forward to Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics.
With the U.S. men's basketball team withstanding a tough challenge from Spain, eyes now look forward to the London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremonies -- and look back at this year's gold-medal performances, including two of them from Iowa's adopted daughter, Gabby Douglas. The men's basketball team took the gold with a 107-100 victory -- a tough one in which Spain stayed close most of the game -- and several more sporting contests were still on the Olympic schedule. Maybe the most satisfying part of Sunday for Iowans, though, will be watching the results that are already known: The golds won by the U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team and Gabby Douglas. NBC's television schedule of the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics begins at 6 p.m. Iowa …
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Weird crime, weird cat killing, weird sign bashing, weird Iowa.
A crime in Cedar Rapids is horrifying as well as just plain weird. A burglar broke into a vacant home in Cedar Rapids and didn't take anything, but police say the criminal lopped the head off a harmless cat. Police said the cat owner's friend found the lifeless feline on a bedroom floor, according to Marion Patch. It's a bit weird when a suspect admits to police their wrongdoing. A 19-year-old Ames man faces a string of charges including a felony after allegedly breaking out a car window while under the influence of alcohol. Ames police found Zachary Berg of Ames hiding in a bush when they arrived to investigate a report of a man breaking out car windows, records said. Berg fit the description police had, and when he first spoke to police …