Where was Carly?

Reigning Olympic champ Carly Patterson wasnt in Beijing this summer.

Reigning Olympic champ Carly Patterson wasn't in Beijing this summer.

It was one of the many thoughts flitting through this blogger’s brain in the aftermath of Nastia Liukin’s golden all-around performance.

The Dallas Morning News apparently had the same question.

Someone obvious was missing Friday morning in Beijing as North Texan Nastia Liukin won the women’s gymnastics all-around Olympic gold medal: Carly Patterson.

Television cameras cut to Houston’s Mary Lou Retton, who in 1984 became the first American woman to win the all-around gold. There were shots of coaches, the ever-present Bela and Martha Karolyi, and several other Olympic luminaries.

But what about Patterson, the darling of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, whose megawatt smile and pepper-pot style captured American imaginations when she won America’s second all-around gold?

She watched the games from Louisiana, with family.

“I wanted to be there, for sure,” said Patterson, 20, who lives in Allen and is pursuing a singing career. “I don’t really know what happened. I wasn’t invited.”

Hmmm. On one hand, someone — USA Gymnastics or WOGA or even NBC or the FIG — could have seen to it that the reigning Olympic champion was invited to the big party in Beijing.

Then again, Patterson has expressed little desire to remain involved with the sport, at one point redoing her website and inviting readers to click a link to “read about her former gymnastics career.” (It has since been redone and gymnastics is a little more prominent.)

USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny’s comments indicate there may be some hurt feelings on both sides between the 2004 Champ and the U.S. governing body of the sport that made her famous.

Was it fair of Patterson to pout in print? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Regardless of how she seems to have moved on with her life (applaudable) she was the Olympic champion. What do you think?

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3 Responses to “Where was Carly?”

  1. Daria Says:

    I think she is an adult and if she wanted to go, she should have bought the tickets and gone…

  2. Kim Says:

    I agree- she should have bought a ticket just like everybody else. I thought she was going to appear to sing at a halftime show or something, i guess that never went through. She really shouldn’t be grumpy, she cut her own ties with the sport on her own will.

  3. Katrina Says:

    I’m guessing Mary Lou paid her own way to go not USGA. Paul wasn’t there either.

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