August 11, 2008

What Happened to Carly Patterson?

Who? You know, the only American woman to ever win a gymnastics all-around gold medal in a fully attended Olympic games?

Have you seen this girl?

During the women's gymnastics qualifiers last night, one of the announcers said that Shawn Johnson was trying to become an iconic American gymnast like Mary Lou Retton and Kerri Strug. I turned to my wife and said (while only feeling a little gay): "What about that girl who won the all-around in Athens?" and then about 15 minutes later, "Carly Patterson, that was her name!" Later on in the broadcast, the announcers did mention Patterson in passing, saying that she had inspired this year's gymnasts to do their best, or some crap like that.

All of which left me wondering what the hell happened to this girl? I know gymnasts have a short shelf life, but she was young in 2004 (I looked it up, she's only 20 now). Even if she didn't make the team this year, I expected to hear some discussion of how she got too old and was put out to stud or something. Instead, she got mentioned only slightly more than Dominique Dawes.

Wikipedia to the rescue. Apparently she discovered that she had back problems in 2006 and was forced to retire. OK, that sucks, but it would have been nice to hear something about it. No big deal. She was also on some show called Celebrity Duets where she and other B-list celebrities sang duets with real singers. Carly didn't fare too well, and she was voted out third. Alfonso Ribeiro was the winner of the show.

I guess there's not too much shame in losing a singing contest to Carlton Banks. Wait, yes there is. That would be enough to make me never want to sing in public again. Apparently it had the opposite effect on Carly, as she parlayed her singing competition loss to Ribeiro (and Lucy Lawless, Cheech Marin, and others) into a singing contract with Joe Simpson. WHAT?

Patterson's contract with Simpson expired without her releasing an album, but don't worry, she's signed with an indie label and has a new song out. Ummm ... it's not very good. Her album was supposed to be released last week, but it's not on Amazon and her record label's website leaves something to be desired (it's essentially a big link that says "email us"). That doesn't bode well for Carly's music career.

So maybe the announcers avoided mentioning her too much last night to save her the embarrassment of publicizing her failing music career? At least she's always got that gold medal.

12 Responses:

J-Red said...

Honestly that name doesn't even ring a bell.

Anonymous said...

Wait...are you saying Joe Simpson signed some young hot chick with no talent to a singing contract.

I don't believe it

Brien said...

Yeah, I don't know why the fact that he has two hot daughters with a little bit of talent makes him think he's a world class talent scout.

Anonymous said...

Shawn Johnson is a better role model than Miley Cyrus!

OM said...

That's quite the Woodward and Bernstein you got here.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering the exact same thing, and google directed me here :D

She was pretty awesome. She should have at least been there to pass her crown on.

Dean said...

"So maybe the announcers avoided mentioning her too much last night to save her the embarrassment of publicizing her failing music career? At least she's always got that gold medal."

Carly Patterson just called. She said "F-you, Brien."

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe you wrote this article without checking the facts why she quit gymnastics. Your article is so demeaning. Gymnastics is one of the most difficult sport in the world and is so hard on the body.

Carly hurt her back, she needed two operations to repair the herniated discs in her back so she decided to quit.

Anonymous said...

stupid blogger!!!

Brianna said...

I was gymnast who though that Carly Patterson was an amazing gymnast. She was such a role model growing up for me. But after she won the Olympics I got reallyy mad at her. She basically blew the sport of and changed interests almost over night. I feel that she never did anything to help the sport and was just a wasted gold medal. It's such a big honor to be named an Olympic All Around champion, and throwing it away is horrible. And with the 2008 Olympics, Shawn Johnson was never compared to Carly Patterson, Carly Patterson was barely even mentioned at the Olympics. You would think she would want to be at the Olympics and be involved with them, considering that there was a really good chance that a fellow American might carry on her title. Like what is wrong with her. I am really disappointed in Carly Patterson, and I feel that she really could have done something more than what she did. She's not even worth looking up to as a role model anymore. Young gymnasts should find someone else to look up at rather than her.

Anonymous said...

wow, that sucks that she had to quit, as a gymnast myself i know what she had to give up

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