08/08/2012 02:46 pm ET Updated Oct 08, 2012

An Open Letter to Gabby Douglas


Congratulations on the huge gold medal win and all the much-deserved praise on your Olympics victory. You are truly America's new golden child, and with good reason. Now, please don't screw it up.

My girls are young, 7 and 4. And they need a few more good role models like you. Mom and dad can only carry the torch so far. You may not have signed up for it, but like it or not, you are now someone young girls all across America are aspiring to be like. This is way bigger than American Idol. I'm not talking about the ability to dress in provocative clothes while belting out a tune and winning a popularity contest with phone votes and judges' scores. I'm talking about the determination and dedication, to put your mind to a task, to train hard to achieve that level of success and then to climb the mountain. You've done it, and kids across America can learn a thing or two from you. We've seen it many times before where people climb that mountain and then come crashing back down to earth. Please don't repeat their mistakes. I'm tired of the rehabbing actors in the news. I'm tired of the performance-enhancing athletes in the news. I'm tired of the phony, 15-minutes-of fame, reality-show seeking, attention-seeking, camera-seeking, fame-seeking, talentless pool of role models that society now has to choose from.  

I know this is a lot of pressure for a young woman, but parents across America are pulling for you. You've won the gold medal. Now you're REALLY carrying the torch. Your chance to shine is just beginning.


Pete Wilgoren
Father of Two
Facebook/ Dadmissions The Book