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Quick Hits: Carly Patterson, Candice Swanepoel, swimsuit models

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Updated: July 25, 2011 9:53AM



Carly Patterson was back in the gym last week — as a speaker and autograph signer, not as a gymnast.

The 2004 Olympic gold medalist in the all-around category made stops at suburban sites to promote the CoverGirl Classic, which will be Saturday at the UIC Pavilion.

At 23, Patterson would be among the oldest competitors if back problems hadn’t forced her to retire after her Olympic success.

‘‘I tried to ignore it, but my doctor was like, ‘If you want to have a life after gymnastics, then it would be smart for you to move on,’ ’’ the Hall of Famer told Quick Hits after her meet-and-greet with young gymnasts in Skokie. ‘‘I was OK with that, and I was OK with going out on top.

‘‘It’s nice to see all the up-and-comers who have been working so hard. It’s nice to watch them and kind of be out of it and have no stress. It’s someone else’s turn, and I just get to watch.’’

Patterson hopes to be watching the U.S. team at the 2012 Olympics.

‘‘I think we have a pretty strong team right now, so I think we’ll do fine in London,’’ she said. “I think right now it’s more a game of staying healthy for another year. That’s the main thing for any country right now.’’



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