Photo Credit: Kelly Wallace/iVillage
Saturday, 3:45 p.m. ET/8:45 p.m. London -- Phelps' Ends Olympic Career With Gold
I admit I had butterflies watching this one. I wanted Michael Phelps to end his Olympic career the way it began in the 2004 Games with gold, but I was also thinking about Brendan Hansen. His mother told me that Brendan's grandfather, who was his biggest fan, died in October and was the "angel" looking over Brendan at these Games. So how great to see Team USA win this one, giving Brendan the gold (his third gold in three Olympic Games), and Michael his 18th Olympic gold and the final gold of his competitive career. You couldn't write a better way for the U.S. to end the swimming phase of the London Games.
Saturday, 11:00 a.m. ET/4:00 p.m. London -- Raising An Olympian
I set out today to interview moms of Olympians to figure out when they knew they had an Olympian on their hands. I met the moms of field hockey star Katelyn Falgowski, 110-meter hurdler Jeffrey Porter and swimmer Brendan Hansen. Stay tuned for my post from these amazing moms but one teaser: Hansen's mom Miriam cracked me up when she told the story of how Brendan, as a 9-year-old, came home after meeting swimming champ Nelson Diebel and trying on one of his gold medals. He said that he wanted a gold. What did mom say? "I said, as any mother would when a son comes home, I'm like, 'Okay Brendan ... that's very good, that's nice, now go up and clean your room," Miriam Hansen recounted with a laugh. Tonight her soon-to-be 31-year-old son, who already has a bronze in the 100-meter breaststroke, swims for gold in the 4 x 100-meter relay. Go Brendan!
Saturday, 10:30 a.m. ET/3:30 p.m. London -- Still Setting In!
I ran into members of the family of new all-around gymnastics champ, Gabby Douglas, at the P&G Family Home. Carolyn Ford, Gabby's grandmother, said the "full extent" of what Gabby accomplished -- being the first African American to win the all-around title and the first to win individual Olympic gold -- won't hit until they get home. Gabby's received congratulations from some of the biggest names on the planet -- Oprah, Beyonce, even President Obama. Ford couldn't believe that the president told Gabby he wants her to stop by the White House. Ford's counting on her own mother back in Indiana to keep all the newspapers so they can follow the coverage when they return. There has been little coverage, if any, in the British papers, which is surprising. "The hard work paid off," said Ford, reiterating that this would not have happened if Gabby didn't go to Iowa to work with Liang Chow and expressing amazement that she has two golds (the all-around and the team gold) after working with Chow for less than two years.
The family was off to take in some London sights before Gabby's individual event competition begins Monday (she's competing on the uneven bars and the balance beam).
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. ET/3:00 p.m. London -- Serena Dominates!
I didn't realize today was the women's tennis final until I walked into the P&G Family Home and saw the match underway between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. I also didn't realize that Serena, who has won every other title, has never won an Olympic gold in singles. Today, she changed that, completely demolishing Sharapova 6-0, 6-1, and becoming the first woman in history to win a Golden Slam, meaning she has won all four Grand Slams plus an Olympic gold in singles and doubles. Amazing does not do her skill and accomplishments justice.
Saturday, 4:00 a.m. ET/9:00 a.m. London -- Mourning Fourth Place?
I loved meeting and interviewing the mom of Olympic cyclist Connie Carpenter-Phinney, who is a two-time Olympian herself (she won the gold at the '84 Games in cycling.) She spoke so passionately about how our focus on medals and placing first, second and third is "misguided" and how we should celebrate the champions, but also the athletes who do their very best but don't end up on the medals platform, like her son, Taylor Phinney, who placed fourth in both of his London races. I couldn't agree more and was thrilled to write her story, hoping more people will hear her message.
The cost of Kelly's travel to London was paid by Procter & Gamble.