Carly Patterson (Photo by Karen Abeyasekere / 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs)
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PHOTOS: Olympic Champion Gymnast Carly Patterson Drops by England's Air Force Base Mildenhall

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Former Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Carly Patterson sported another kind of red, white and blue – the red, white and blue of the USO – while showing her support of the military as part of a USO trip last Monday.

Patterson was in London as an NBC correspondent for the Olympic Games and worked into her trip a scheduled visit to Royal Air Force Base Mildenhall, England, to lift the spirits of deployed troops and their families. On base, Patterson took part in tumbling classes for the children, giving tips to the young boys and girls while also posing for photos, signing autographs and chatting with the servicemen and women and their loved ones.

Patterson told the Royal Air Force Base website how thrilled she was to have the opportunity to visit with our nation’s military who are serving abroad.

“I'm really excited to be here and glad to have this opportunity to meet them," she said. “The military are the real heroes – we're just athletes that come along and get to be in their presence. I'm thankful for what they do, and for serving and keeping us safe."


Patterson helps Christian Graham, 2, practice a backwards roll during one of the toddlers’ gymnastics classes at the RAF Mildenhall Youth Center. Patterson was 16 when she won her gold medal in Athens, Greece, in 2004.


Taking a break from summersaults, the kids pose with Patterson. Patterson took time to visit the youth center and help with some of the classes.


Patterson speaks with members of the 351st Air Refueling Squadron during her visit.

(Photos 1 and 2 by Karen Abeyasekere - 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs; Photo 3 by Tech. Sgt. Neal X. Joiner - U.S. Air Force photo. All courtesy of / Produced by Christian Pelusi) 

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