Inspire Your Young Gymnast With An Autograph From Their Hero

Inspire younger gymnasts with an autographed photo of their heroes, Olympic champions like Carly Patterson, Paul Hamm and Shannon Miller.

Being a gymnast takes dedication, hard work, discipline and perseverance. The long hours spent at the gym sometimes can make it seem like an Olympic dream might never come true.

A little inspiration from Olympic champions and legends in the sport can go a long way.

Champions like Americans Carly Patterson, Paul Hamm and Shannon Miller proved that dreams can come true, and they're happy to hear from and encourage their fans.

An autographed photo of them would inspire young athletes to keep working toward their dreams. Some athletes also sign autographs at competitions and exhibitions, but you might have better luck and an easier time getting a hold of them by sending a letter.

Carly Patterson won the gold medal in the women's all-around competition in the 2004 Olympic games in Athens, Greece. Carly, who was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1988, earned three medals at those games: the silver with the other members of the U.S. women's team; the silver in her specialty, the balance beam; and the gold in the all-around. Carly was the first American woman to win gold since 1984, and she's the first to win at a fully-attended Olympic games.

Inspire your little gymnast to continue their hard work, dedication, and love for gymnastics, just like Carly, with a photo of their hero.

Send a letter to her and include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a quicker response. Write to Carly Patterson, World Olympic Gymnastics Academy, 1937 Parker Road, Plano, Texas 75023.

Paul Hamm's fans were excited when he, too, won the all-around gold at the Athens games. It was a controversial finish, with a scoring error that threatened to take his medal away, but in the end, Paul's scores stood and he is the 2004 Olympic champion, the first man in American history to accomplish that feat.

He also won a silver medal on high bar and a silver in the team competition with the other U.S. men, including his twin brother, Morgan.

Paul likes getting mail and answers all the letters he receives. Write to him in care of Ohio State University Men's Gymnastics, Steelwood Training Facility, 1160 Steelwood Road, Columbus, OH 43212.

Shannon Miller, the most decorated American in gymnastics history, also offers autographed posters and photos for her fans.

During her career, Shannon won seven Olympic medals, nine World Championship medals, and 58 international and 49 national competition medals, more than half of them gold.

Her crowning achievement was winning two gold medals at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta: she won team gold with the other U.S. women, dubbed the "Magnificent Seven," and the gold on the balance beam.

Though Shannon currently is a law student in Boston, she is still involved with gymnastics as a commentator and performer. She's also an athlete representative for the women's program at USA Gymnastics and holds balance beam clinics throughout the country.

Write to Shannon Miller, ATTN: Fan Mail, 8 Easy Street, Edmond, OK 73003.

With their busy schedules, it may take time to get a response, so be patient.

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