Photo Credit: Kelly Wallace / iVillage
Wednesday, 2:00 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. London -- Leyva's Come From Behind Victory
Sadly, I was in transit during the end of the men's gymnastics all around final. Clearly, I missed a riveting competition. Danell Leyva found himself in 19th place after a disappointing pommel horse routine. A medal seemed very much out of reach. But then he soared back with solid routines on the rings and the vault, followed by one of the top performances of his career on the parallel bars. For a time, it looked like he might even get the silver medal -- silver from 19th place! Amazing! Ultimately, he got the bronze, which is equally amazing. And all I could think about was what his sweet grandmother and family had sacrificed and her proud they must feel today.
Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. ET/3:00 p.m. London -- From Cuba to the Olympics
A total highlight of my day, meeting the grandmother of Danell Leyva, a member of the U.S. men’s gymnastics team who’s competing in the all-around competition this afternoon. Leyva’s grandmother came to the U.S. from Cuba more than 20 years ago and now she's watching her grandson compete in the Olympics for Team USA.
She doesn’t speak English and sadly I don’t speak Spanish, so Danell’s cousin played the role of translator. Asked what it means to watch her grandson compete in the Olympics, she said, according to Danell's cousin, “She’s very happy, very excited, that it’s the maximum for our family to get here after all the hard work.”
Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. ET/1:00 p.m. London -- The Sacrifices
I woke up thinking about a conversation I had with Gabby Douglas’ grandmother, Carolyn Ford. Ford told me how Gabby, at the age of 14, had the courage to take a step most teenagers probably wouldn’t take -- move across the country, away from her family, to work with a better coach. “She’s the youngest of four, she left her mom, her siblings and her two dogs,” Ford told me at the P&G Family Home. “And she packed up and moved away and it’s like I don’t know if I could have made that decision. I know I wouldn’t have at 14.”
I also thought about Joy Robles, mother of weightlifter Sarah Robles, who is celebrating her birthday today. Happy birthday Sarah! Joy told me Sarah lives on the $400 she gets from U.S. weightlifting and makes ends meet using food stamps and accepting donations of food from friends and people at her gym.
We spend a lot of time focusing on the gold, but not on the sacrifices -- personal and financial -- to get to the Olympics. So that’s my focus today. Read my full story about what Olympians and their families have done to get to London here.
Wednesday, 6:00 a.m. ET/11:00 a.m. London – Bieber Fever!
Oh my god! That has to be what the newly named "Fab Five" were thinking when Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) tweeted congratulations to them on winning the gold in women’s gymnastics. I know from interviewing Jordyn Wieber (@jordyn_wieber) what a huge Bieber fan she is, so she must have jumped through the ceiling when @justinbieber tweeted this directly to her: "@jordyn_wieber u support me I support u. congrats and @ryanseacrest told me about u too. #DREAMBIG."
So Jordyn, our question: Which is more exciting -- winning the gold or hearing from Bieber?
By the way, Bieber’s not the only one using Twitter to salute Team USA. Said @ladygaga: "WooHoo! Gold for the ladies! Just want to squeeze them! So much talent and beauty. Did u see them holding hands? There’s no “I” in team."
Quite a different world from four years ago in Beijing when Twitter was just taking off. #hardtobelieve
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.