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Patterson Gets Proposal, Gives Pre-Olympic Support
(21 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

2004 Olympic all-around gold medalist Carly Patterson of the U.S. said she is busy not only planning her wedding, but supporting the gymnasts training for this summer's Olympic Games in London.

Recently engaged to be married, 2004 Olympic all-around gold medalist Carly Patterson of the U.S. said she is busy not only planning her wedding, but supporting the gymnasts training for this summer's Olympic Games in London.

"This is definitely going to be an exciting and very competitive Olympic year to watch all the awesome girls vying for a spot on the (U.S.) Olympic team," Patterson said. "I am really looking forward to watching and cheering everyone on."

Patterson, who trained under coach Evgeny Marchenko at WOGA in Plano, Texas, said she is especially hopeful for 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin and two-time world all-around medalist Rebecca Bross, both of whom train at WOGA.

"I know they are both training and doing what they need to do to be ready for the competitions coming up," said Patterson of Liukin and Bross.

Although Patterson is retired from competition, she remains closely involved in the sport as well as in her academic, professional and charitable pursuits.

"I am halfway done with my Bachelor's degree in communications, and that is currently my main focus," said Patterson, who will turn 24 on Feb. 4. "I still love being involved in the gymnastics community, whether it is promoting our sport with USA Gymnastics, coaching at summer camps, or anything else that I can do to support our sport."

Patterson said she enjoyed her recent meeting with the family of Taylor Storch, an Arizona teenager who was killed in a skiing accident and whose parents donated her heart to a 40-year-old mother of two in need of a transplant.

"I am working with their amazing charity, called Taylor's Gift Foundation, to increase and promote organ donation," Patterson said.

Patterson is also planning her wedding, tentatively scheduled for next year in the Dallas area. She and fiancé Mark Caldwell, a strategy consultant for Accenture, got engaged on Jan. 21.

"Winning the all-around gold medal in 2004 was the best day of my life until this day, because now I have my best friend and the greatest guy I could have ever asked God to send me to share my past, present and future life with," she said.

Caldwell proposed in dramatic style next to a waterfall at a creek-side park outside of Dallas.

"Mark tricked me into thinking we were going to look at a house that his parents were buying, and when we pulled up closer to the area, he wanted to get out and look around," Patterson said. "When we got out of the car we turned a corner and I saw rose petals and candles all over the ground with a 'Will You Marry Me?' sign. He also had champagne and a scrapbook opened that I had made him in our first year of dating, and he had finished the last page."

Patterson's thrilled response to Caldwell's proposal met with the instant approval of both of their families, she said.

"Mark said some really sweet things and got down on his knee and asked if I would marry him," Patterson said. "I can barely remember all of this part because I was so surprised, but I know I said yes at least five times in a row and jumped to hug him. Our families were waiting across the creek hiding behind a big tree, and after he proposed they all came out and were waving and yelling at us."

Although Patterson's life has changed considerably since her Olympic victory in Athens nearly eight years ago, she can still offer words of encouragement for those seeking glory this summer in London.

"My advice for the girls training for London is to keep doing what you're doing, training hard, training smart, and keeping your eye on the end goal because it is so close," she told IG. "Enjoy this time leading up to everything because it goes by so fast, and try to have fun and take in every moment.

Comments (1)add comment

Abby said:

Organ donation
I really appreciate Carly's support of organ donation and the Taylor's Gift Foundation. An organ donor saved my son's life and I'll be forever grateful.
January 26, 2012
Votes: +12

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