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“Wow! What a beautiful arena,” Karolyi says of CONSOL Energy Center on his first visit to the venue. “What an excellent place to perform.” Patterson agrees, “CONSOL Energy Center looks like a great place. I’m excited to be here.” Karolyi says, “I’ll be here rooting and encouraging all of the participants to do their best.” The long-time coach and influential figure in gymnastics, Karolyi now has snowy white hair, and his passion for gymnastics and his signature mustache are as vibrant as ever. Making a round of Pittsburgh media to promote the upcoming P&G Gymnastics Championships, Karolyi talked about the significance of the championships, his career and the future, as well as the rich history of gymnastics. “We could have a world changer here in Pittsburgh with the world medalists who will be here,” Karolyi says. The standards of gymnastics are higher than ever before, according to Karolyi who says that people will not be able to imagine the spectacular athletic CARLY PATTERSON performances that they will see at the 2014 championships. “It will be a great moment in Pittsburgh gymnastics,” he says, adding, “Who knows who will make history? There could be another Nadia [Comaneci] or Gabby [Douglas].” “It will be inspiring,” he says. “The P&G Gymnastics Championships are a unique opportunity to see the best in the world,” Karolyi says. Patterson, who has experienced some great moments in gymnastics history herself, shares this view. “It’s an exciting time for the sport,” she says, pointing out that the 2014 championship will draw the likes of 2012 Olympic Team Gold Medalists Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney, and Biles. “It is the biggest competition of the year,” says Carly pointing out that the best gymnasts in the nation, juniors and seniors will come to Pittsburgh to compete for the country’s highest honors in the sport. For local gymnasts and fans of the sport, Patterson says, “You’re lucky when it comes to your city. We will have the best in the United States, boys and girls, competing. It’s the chance to enjoy your sport firsthand and to see world class athletes in your backyard.” continued on page 134
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