Pittsburgh Hospital Dresses Newborns Like Team USA Athletes for Baby Competition

- Deborah Hastings

In daunting categories that include "Most Hair," "Strongest Lungs" and "Longest Eyelashes," a group of patriotic newborns recently competed in their own tiny-sized Olympics. 

The maternity ward staff at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Magee-Women's Hospital dressed their charges in teeny outfits and knitted caps to celebrate the ongoing Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Wrapped in blue-and-white blankets like baby burritos, the infants also sported red, white and blue beanies knitted by a nurse in the ward.

"It adds a little excitement, and a little buzz, to the unit," chief nursing officer Jeff Hodges said. "It helps them remember this very special moment... this is just something special that we can do for our patients."

Hodges and the ward's nurses announced the winners in a videotaped ceremony that featured a lot of crying from the crowd.

Baby Jen, who was screaming her little head off, won the "Strongest Lungs" competition. Baby Vincent won for "Most Hair," but was wailing right along with Jen. Baby Anthony took the gold for "Longest Eyelashes," and Baby Tommy, who was zonked out, won for "Best Napper."

Amanda Ciccone, baby Anthony's mom, was proud of her hairy-headed son.

"It was really fun to see the awards all being handed out and to hear all the different babies’ names and what characteristics that they might have won for," she said.

Dad Dan Ciccone thinks his newborn son belongs in a sports category. "I think we definitely have a future athlete on our hands," he said. "He kicks like he wants to play soccer."

All of the infant athletes, except for the sleeping baby Tommy, seemed to covet the "Strongest Lungs" award. Just as soon as quiet fell upon the ceremony, a baby would start squalling, which would prompt the other little ones to join the wailing chorus, producing a human version of the twilight bark from 101 Dalmations.

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