Tuesday, January 01, 2008

by Amanda Turner

1996 Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu and her husband welcomed an unexpected Christmas guest this year — a daughter born on Dec. 25.

"She truly is a beautiful and peaceful baby," Moceanu told IG. "Christmas miracles still do exist!"

Baby Carmen Noel Canales was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Christmas Day afternoon, weighing 7 lbs. 7 oz. and measuring 18.5 inches.

It is the first child for both Moceanu, 26, and her husband, Dr. Michael Canales, 30. The pair married in Houston in November 2006.

"Carmen was a very pleasant surprise, considering she was supposed to be born on Jan. 3," Canales said.

Moceanu was the youngest U.S. senior national champion in history, winning the 1995 all-around title at age 13. She was a member of the U.S. gold medal-winning team at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Among her other achievements are the silver medal on beam at the 1995 World Championships in Sabae and the all-around title at the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York.

Canales, a former gymnast at Ohio State, is now a podiatric surgeon in Cleveland.

Canales said the baby is healthy, and may just have the traits needed to follow in the footsteps of her successful parents.

"Baby and Mommy are both very well," Canales said. "Baby appears to have innate discipline!" 

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