Photo Credit: Kelly Wallace / iVillage
Thursday, 6:45 p.m. ET/11:45 p.m. London -- Gabby Douglas "On Cloud 9"
I just checked Gabby Douglas' Twitter feed, and the new all-around champ in gymnastics, the first African American to win individual gold in the Olympics, says she's "#oncloud9." @gabrielledoug also wrote, "WOW such an AMAZING experience! Thank you for all your support, love and prayers love you all!!!"
A short time ago, I chatted with Gabby's mom, Natalie Hawkins, who said she feels like she's in a dream. Gabby's "host" mom, Missy Parton, said she's thrilled to be part of this journey. I also saw Shawn Johnson who said she couldn't be prouder of Gabby. The new champ can't totally relax just yet. She competes on the uneven bars and the balance beam early next week.
Thursday, 3:25 p.m. ET/8:25 p.m. London -- Phelps Wins It!
Full disclosure: I was rooting for Ryan Lochte. I just was. Thought it would be great for him to close out his London Games the way he started with a gold, but Michael Phelps wanted to prove something tonight and he did: Don't count him out. He won the 200-meter individual medley, becoming the first American swimmer to defend his Olympic title in the same race in three consecutive Olympics. Lochte came in second and now he can relax. If I have my numbers right, Lochte won two gold medals, two silver and a bronze, which is amazing. And now he can get ready to celebrate turning 28 tomorrow.
Thursday, 3:20 p.m. ET/8:20 p.m. London -- Ryan Lochte's Final Race
As Ryan Lochte gets ready to jump into the pool 31 minutes after his last race, which left him with the bronze, I can't help but think of Ike Lochte and the rest of the Lochte family. They must be so nervous. Ike and Ryan's aunt have "Ryan" painted on their nails -- how cute!
Thursday, 2:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. London -- Gabby Makes History
I had tears in my eyes from the moment Gabby Douglas won the all-around final in gymnastics and throughout the medals ceremony. After talking with Gabby's mom (pictured) earlier this week, I was aware of the historical significance. No African American has ever won a gold in the women's Olympic all-around gymnastics final, no African American has won individual gold in gymnastics period. All I could think about was how many young girls she'd inspire in the U.S. and around the world.
Thursday, 11:30 a.m. ET/4:30 p.m. London -- The Women's All-Around Begins
Douglas' aunt might not have had the butterflies but I did. I almost couldn't wait for each of Gabby's events to be over, because I wanted her to do her best. I felt the same for Aly Raisman. Clearly, I couldn't handle being the mom of a gymnast!
Families of U.S. athletes sat all around the so-called "family room" at the P&G Family Home watching live coverage on the big screen televisions. After Gabby's final event, the wait was on for the last gymnast, her top competitor, Victoria Komova, who gave the floor exercise performance of her life. iVillage president Jodi Kahn was inside the arena and said the crowd grew quiet, waiting for the scores. Once they were revealed, the crowd erupted and cheered "USA, USA!" A new American star was born! Raisman tied for third, but when the tiebreaker was broken with scores for execution, she fell to fourth place. We all felt bad for her, but come on, fourth in the world. How amazing!
Thursday, 9:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. London -- All American Barbecue!
What a fun event! A number of moms of U.S. athletes including the moms of decathlete Ashton Eaton, beach volleyballer Kerri Walsh, gold medal swimming champ Dana Vollmer and cyclist Taylor Phinney spoke about what the American flag means to them in a special event paying tribute to the athletes and their moms. I had a chance to talk with all of them and look forward to sharing those interviews soon on iVillage.com.
I also talked with basketball star and Olympian Maya Moore about how she hopes the Olympics bring attention to women's basketball and inspire girls to play. Sadly, I didn't get a chance to talk with Christian Laettner, a member of the '92 U.S. basketball "Dream Team." One of the funniest moments of the afternoon was when Laettner called Olympic gold medalist gymnast Shawn Johnson to stand by his side for a "photo moment." It was clear who was the one who played basketball and who did gymnastics!
Thursday, 8:00 a.m. ET/1:00 p.m. ET -- Team Gabby!
As I arrived at the P&G Family Home for a "red, white and blue" barbecue saluting the athletes and their moms, I saw members of Gabby Douglas' family getting patriotic pedicures before heading to the arena for the all-around final. "Looking forward to today," said Carolyn Ford, Gabby's grandmother. "I don't have butterflies," said Gabby's aunt Bianca Williams.
4:30 a.m. ET/9:30 a.m. London -- Big Day at the Games
I woke up thinking about Gabrielle Douglas and Aly Raisman, the American women who would be competing in the all-around gymnastics competition later today. I've been checking out the girls' Twitter feeds to get a sense of their mood and confidence. @gabrielledoug tweeted, "Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me." Said @Aly_Raisman in a tweet to Gabby, "Aaaaah today's the day! So excited, can't wait to compete with you tonight."
To view all of Kelly's behind-the-scenes Olympic Games blogs, go here!
The cost of Kelly's travel to London was paid by Procter & Gamble.