Three New All-America Paintings On Display At Yoculan Gymnastics Center
Doug McAvinn touches up Katie Heenan Dodson's All-America painting in the Yoculan Gymnastics Center.

Oct. 24, 2013

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ATHENS-----Three more first team All-America paintings were recently added to the collection inside the University of Georgia's Suzanne Yoculan Gymnastics Center. 

Individual portraits of former Gym Dogs Nikki Childs Montgomery, Megan Dowlen Haught and Katie Heenan Dodson were painted by former UGA assistant coach Doug McAvinn.

"It's a way for me to give back," McAvinn said. "I coached them, so it's special for me to be able to do this."

McAvinn began the paintings as decorations for the wall at the old UGA Women's P.E. Building. The longtime UGA assistant worked on a similar project while coaching at a club in Atlanta before he joined the UGA staff in 1985. At that time Georgia had four All-Americans, including Kathy McMinn, who McAvinn coached before she came to UGA.

"I can't tell you how exciting it is to have our All-American pictures hung in the gym," Dodson said. "The history, tradition, and success that is on every wall tells a story of, not only a present Gym Dog team, but the past and the future. I feel honored to now be part of that story for anyone who walks into that facility."

Said Haught: "This picture captures the full meaning of being a Gym Dog to me.  Georgia Gym Dog is successful inside and outside of the gym. All the years of hard work, perseverance, and dedication paid off. Having my picture hung in the Suzanne Yoculan training center is very humbling and I am so proud of this accomplishment. It's great to be a Georgia Gym Dog!"

"I remember walking into the gym for the first day of practice and seeing all the beautiful paintings of Georgia's All-Americans that surrounded us, and hoping that one day I could see my picture on that wall," Montgomery said. "It makes me so happy to see this dream come true. I am so thrilled and honored to be a part of this truly special Gym Dog tradition. I wish to thank Doug McAvinn for this amazing tribute, and for honoring us in such an incredible way."

In Georgia history, 70 different gymnasts have earned 346 All-America honors.



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