Wordless Wednesday: Gymnastics Gold!

Shannon Miller at Art of the Olympians, Fort Myers, Fla., Sept. 17, 2010
Shannon Miller at Art of the Olympians, Fort Myers, Fla., Sept. 17, 2010

I really was hoping to have an article posted about two-time Olympic gold medal gymnast Shannon Miller’s appearance at Art of the Olympians(Fort Myers, Fla.) last Friday but alas, time has been a beast. Enjoy these snapshots of the Olympian turned entrepreneur and mom.

Added Sept. 23, 2010:

Gold Medalist Shannon Miller Launched New Exhibit in Fort Myers

Dozens of young girls wearing green gymnastic leotards huddled on the floor of Art of the Olympians (AOTO) museum in Fort Myers, Fla., Sept. 17, 2010, to hear inspiring words from two-time gymnastics Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller. Most of these girls were not born when Miller competed in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympic Games but their parents and local business and community leaders in attendance reminisced about her winning performances. If you’re inspired by this interview and want to start your gymnastic career, or think your kids would love the chance to try it out, then you might want to check out r-athletics.com/gymnastics to see if they can help get your dreams started.

A Taste of Gymnastics Exhibit on Display at Art of the Olympians
Miller was keynote speaker for the opening of the new exhibit called, “A Taste of Gymnastics,” which offers historical and modern snapshots of gymnastics with artwork, equipment such as a balance beam, uniforms and Olympic memorabilia. The exhibit is on display in the Olympic Sports Experience Gallery through Oct. 16, 2010. Following her talk, Miller answered questions, signed autographs and watched demonstrations by a local gymnastics club.

Shannon Miller at Art of the Olympians, Fort Myers, Fla., Sept. 17, 2010
Shannon Miller Talks with an Aspiring Athlete at Art of the Olympians, Fort Myers, Fla., Sept. 17, 2010

Shannon Miller’s Gold Medal Moments
The most decorated American gymnast, Shannon Miller has won seven Olympic medals, two of them gold. She is the only female athlete to be inducted in the United States Olympic Hall of Fame twice, with her team and as an individual.

Miller displayed her two Olympic gold medals and shared experiences from the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. She described the fastest 90 seconds of her life, her winning performance on the balance beam.

“I just wanted to live in that moment where finally all that hard work paid off and everything came together at the right time,” Miller told the audience describing the moment she dismounted off the beam and her feet hit the floor.

She continued, “That’s what lives inside of all Olympians …it’s that gold medal moment. It’s that moment when you have done the absolute best that you could have done and you know you worked for it tirelessly year after year and you finally get to show the world what you’ve been working on.”

The Olympian’s recent gold medal moment arrived in October 2009 when her son Rocco was born. Miller said, “He loves doing handstands but he’s built more like a linebacker…rings are probably not in his future.”

Two-time Gold Medalist Shannon Miller's Gold Medals at Art of the Olympians, Fort Myers, Fla., Sept. 17, 2010
Shannon Miller's Gold Medals at Art of the Olympians, Fort Myers, Fla., Sept. 17, 2010

Olympian Focusing on Women’s Health and Fitness
The Olympian launched Shannon Miller Lifestyle earlier this year and told the audience, “No one told you how to fill your time after the Olympics.”

Returning home from the 1996 Olympic Games, Miller was no longer training daily, found she had an extra 40 hours a week and fell into a sedentary lifestyle including watching television and eating. She ended up gaining unwanted weight. Through Shannon Miller Lifestyle, she aims to provide tools women need to become and stay fit and healthy. She said the emphasis on women’s health and fitness is born out of her experience as a woman and not just as an athlete.

About Art of the Olympians
Located in the Riverfront District of Fort Myers, Fla., Art of the Olympians and Al Oerter Center for Excellence opened in January 2010. The museum houses a collection of art and changing exhibits, all created by Olympians from across the globe and exists because of four-time Olympic discus gold medalist and abstract artist Art Oerter.

Oerter, who often painted using a discus, participated in a 1990s world art tour with other pieces by Olympians. He was later approached to show his artwork in Fort Myers and invited fellow Olympian artists to exhibit . The collection was displayed in three New York venues in 2006 and led to establishment of the Art of the Olympians Foundation. Al Oerter passed away in 2007 and others who shared his vision and spirit moved forward in finding a permanent home for AOTO.

Art of the Olympians is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $2 for adults and children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult. The museum is closed for major holidays. (1300 Hendry Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901; Tel: 239-332-5055).



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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