Monday, August 6th, 2012
While I was in London for the Olympics, I had the privilege to speak with several current Olympians, moms of Olympians, and former Olympic competitors. I asked them all for the best advice they would give to young children–and their parents–who are starting to get interested in sports and might be dreaming of competing in the Olympics someday.
Here is the advice they gave:
Margie Walsh, mother of beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh-Jennings:
I would tell them to dream big. Even if they aren’t going to be Olympic athletes, it’s okay to dream big. Support them and encourage them and tell them they can do anything they want to do. They’ll know when they don’t love it anymore, and they’ll know when it’s time to give it up. But it’s got to be their choice to play, and it’s got to be their choice to give it up. And if they’re just tired, you don’t let them give it up yet. And if they’re not good enough to get to the next level, just remind them of what they have achieved. Support them, encourage them, love them, and listen to them. And make sure it’s their dream, and they want it.
Christian Laettner, former Olympic basketball player:
Have your kid play as many sports as he can. Nowadays, the parents and coaches want to have them focus in on just basketball at age 12 or 13. You don’t have to focus in on your one sport until maybe 16 years old.
Diana Lopez, taekwondo star:
Stick to something you believe in and don’t ever quit. Here I am, a two-time Olympian. In 2004 I barely made the Olympic team, and I was crushed after that, but my parents always taught us to persevere, to keep going and to do your best, no matter what obstacles may come. And here I am.
Diana Lopez won the bronze medal in taekwondo at the 2008 Games and is currently competing in London.
Gary Hall Jr., former Olympic swimmer:
You have to start somewhere, and it’s never the top. If you stick to something long enough and you love it, eventually you will be successful.
There are life skills that are instilled, qualities that are taken away from a playing field or swimming pool, and you may not be able to appreciate that when you’re a 12-year-old youth soccer player. But later on in life, you start applying those things you learn to other things that aren’t necessarily sports related.
Gary Hall Jr. won 10 medals over three Olympics, 1996, 2000, and 2004.
More Wisdom: Parents.com Olympics Interviews
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Friday, July 13th, 2012
This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.
With the London Summer Games commencing on July 27th, CelebrityBabyScoop’s getting into the Olympic spirit. And we’re not the only ones! Mom-to-be Giuliana Rancic will broadcast live in London, while mom-of-four Nicole Kidman also plans to attend the upcoming games.
Celebrity Baby Scoop sat down with some Olympic moms such as Kerri Walsh and Christie Rampone who are going for the gold this summer, along with celebrated Olympians Shannon Miller and Summer Sanders who plan to broadcast live from the upcoming games.
Read on about 5 inspirational Olympic mamas.
Volleyball superstar Kerri Walsh, 33 – known as “Six Feet of Sunshine” – is feeling “stronger than ever” for the London games! The two-time Olympic gold medalist and her partner Misty May-Treanor are going for the gold in their fourth Olympic appearance this summer. Kerri is also busy playing the role of mom for her two young sons Joey, 2, and Sundance, 1.
“I definitely feel more ready and stronger than ever,” Kerri said of the upcoming summer Olympics. ”There is so much hope and enthusiasm right now, and the Olympic spirit is picking up in the United States. We also have a new coach added to our coaching staff, so we are learning so much and breaking down bad habits. It is very exciting to be growing in all the right ways, and we are really focused, determined, and happy. It’s a really great combo.”
And don’t discount a fifth Olympic appearance! “I think it would be amazing to win a gold medal in Brazil,” Kerri said.
Soccer star Christie Rampone is set to compete in her fourth Olympics this summer. And the team’s captain couldn’t be more excited to have her family-of-four cheering her on!
“Reece (2) and Rylie (6) will be going to London with their dad and some of my family and friends,” Christie said. “It means the world to me and it will be exciting to see them wearing the red, white and blue with plenty of face paint and hair coloring!”
Considered one of the greatest gymnasts in U.S. history, Shannon Miller holds 7 Olympic and 9 World Championship medals. Now mom to 2-year-old son Rocco, the 35-year-old athlete opened up about supporting the Team USA‘s Raise our Flag initiative, and the gymnasts to watch this year.
“I’ll be in London as an analyst,” she said. “I’m so excited for Team USA. Jordyn Wieber is the current world champion moving into the Olympics so she will certainly be one to watch. Gabby Douglas has surprised many this year. Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney are names that continue to be in the mix for one of the top spots on the team. Of course we have quite a few from the 2008 Olympic Team making comebacks including Nastia Liukin and Bridget Sloan. With only a five person team this year it will be all about staying healthy and being consistent.”
Nearly twenty years ago, Summer Sanders made swimming history at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, winning four medals, including two gold. Now the mom of daughter Skye, 6, and son Spider, 4, will be commenting for Yahoo!Sports at the Olympics this year in London.
“I will be broadcasting with Yahoo. I’ve been doing a series already called Elite Athlete Workouts,” Summer said. ”We did it with a bunch of different athletes and now we’re focussing on Olympians. Then I’ll do swimming coverage over there for the first eight days. The following nine days will be following every story under the sun. We’ll cover inspirational, fun stories, night life at the Olympic games, I’ll have my kids there so we’ll cover experiencing the games with family. We’ll feature Team USA and the Americans who have come over. My hope is that everyone catches the Olympic fever and understands what the Olympic spirit is all about.”
Brandi Chastain is a professional soccer defender and midfielder who plays for the team California Storm of Women’s Premier Soccer League and is a former member of the United States women’s national soccer team. The mom to sons Cameron, 23, and Jaden, 5, opened up about broadcasting for the upcoming London games.
“I will be doing the commentary for NBC for the Olympics,” Brandi said. “As a professional in broadcasting, I am just hoping for a really good Olympics. Last summer for the World Cup, every single game was competitive. Every game had an impact on who finished in the groups and who made it to the knockout round. I am looking for a great tournament with a lot of skill and athleticism. I think the key match-ups will be anyone that plays Japan, because right now they are playing the best soccer that anyone’s seen in the world. It is a call to action for the U.S. women’s national team.”
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Celebrity Baby Scoop is one of the most popular blogs on the topic and the foremost provider of everything celebrity-baby, featuring baby fashion, baby names, baby trends and up-to-the-minute celebrity baby gossip and pics. Get all the latest news, updates, and photos about Hollywood’s most beloved celebrity moms, dads and their babies. Who’s the latest Tinseltown baby? Who’s due next and who just announced a pregnancy? It’s all on Celebrity Baby Scoop.
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