08/04/2012 10:21 am ET

Kristen Jordan Shamus: African-American Kids In Metro Detroit Flip For New Olympic Champion

One after one, their legs raced down the spring board, leaping, turning, one back handspring followed by another.

They're dedicated. They're hopeful. They want to be like Gabby.

Sixteen-year-old gymnast Gabby Douglas stole America's heart Thursday when she flipped and tumbled her way to Olympic gold, becoming the first African-American gymnast to win the world's top spot in the women's all-around competition.

And as she did, she cemented a dream in young minds. Children of all colors across the country set up obstacle courses, did cartwheels and somersaults, pretending they, too, were Olympic gymnasts.

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