Posts Tagged ‘ London ’

Basketball Star Maya Moore on Her First Olympics

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Maya MooreMaya Moore is playing in her first Olympics as the youngest member of the U.S. women’s basketball team. But Moore, 23, is already a professional player, a forward for the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA. If she’s nervous about being on the Olympic stage, Moore doesn’t show it, displaying the poise and confidence of a veteran who’s done her share of media appearances.

Moore spoke briefly today at a barbecue at the P&G Family Home, a space here in London for Olympic athletes and their families. The topic was American patriotism, and Moore had the day’s winning quote: “When I think about the heart of this country, I think of my mom.” Later, I sat down for a short interview with Moore, as her mom sat nearby.

How long have you been preparing to be in the Olympics?

My whole life. As a kid, you don’t necessarily know if you’re going to get the opportunity, but as I got a little bit older and I was able to see the Olympics as a potential opportunity, I just worked for it. I’ve been soaking up every moment and making sure that I’m doing whatever I need to be doing to help this team win.

At what point did you realize that basketball was more than a hobby, that it could be a career?

Right around middle school. You start thinking about what you want to be, what your skills are. At least I did. And I saw that going to college, playing basketball, that’s a possibility, so let’s go for it. Every level that I go up, I look up to the next level. After high school, I looked to college, and going to college, the pros was always something I wanted to do, knowing we had a professional league to go to.

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Seeking and Finding the Olympic Spirit in London

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

London OlympicsLondon is bustling for sure, but aside from the Olympics-only traffic lanes and occasional five-ring flag, you wouldn’t necessarily know from wandering around that the Summer Games are in town. There are, of course, reminders such as the display of flags in the shadow of Big Ben (pictured to the right). But overall, London and its tourists are going about business as usual, it seems. Even the taxi drivers are saying that the expected traffic nightmares have not materialized.

Find yourself in any Olympics-related place, and the story, of course, is entirely different. For me, I’ve experienced it up close at the P&G Family Home, where athletes and their families gather to relax and socialize. Many former Olympians are around, still connected to their former teammates and to the Games as a whole (and, truth be told, paid to be there as spokespeople). The Olympic spirit, a sheer enthusiasm for all things Games related, pervades the place. And I’ve been privileged to spend time here, thanks to Procter & Gamble, which is funding my trip.

The athletes and their families may come to the Home to escape the intensity of the Games, but they still gather at the omnipresent TV sets to watch, clap, and cheer for their fellow athletes at their events. No one’s gawking at the many celebrities around, but no one’s oblivious to it all, either. There’s Gabby Douglas’s mom! Shawn Johnson just walked by! Did you hear that Michael (that would be Michael Phelps to the rest of us) broke the record? And is that girl who just passed by wearing a silver medal?!

I’ve had my share of these moments—that was a silver medal around that unidentified girl’s neck—and it’s impossible not to be swept up by it. I rode the van back to my hotel with the mom of weightlifter Sarah Robles, and we chatted about her daughter’s accomplishments and what it feels like to be at the Olympics. Though at home I am glued to the TV for any Olympics, I am not by nature a fanatical Olympics fan. Here there are only fans, and happily so.

Tonight I got to see the actual Olympics. You know, the sporting events that take place between the pomp and ceremony and festivities. It was awe-inspiring to walk through Olympic Park, the site of many of the Games’ biggest events, on my way to the Aquatic Center to attend an evening of swimming. There was a different race every few minutes, plus a couple of medal ceremonies thrown in.

I got to see familiar names win their semifinal (Lochte, Phelps), and someone new to me, Nathan Adrian, take home gold for the U.S. (pictured at right). Hearing our national anthem playing and seeing our flag rising to the ceiling gave me goose bumps. I loved seeing fans from around the globe waving their own flags in the audience and hearing small pockets of cheers when an athlete from, say, Hungary or Columbia was introduced.

We hear so often that the Olympics bring the world together, and that phrase can lose its meaning from the repetition. Being here, though, I feel its meaning deeply. And for me, I’ve come to understand what it means that the Olympics is something larger than a series of athletic competitions.

 And, just for fun, a few more pictures from today:

Olympics Rings

Follow Parents on Twitter and Instagram for the latest from London.

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Princess Followup

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Just one last post about the Disney Princess event in London that my daughter and I attended this weekend. I got this photo from Disney that I think is really incredible. Madelyn and I were on the inside of the palace gates so we didn’t see all the people who were watching the procession of the princesses outside through Kensington Gardens. Disney says that more than 25,000 were there — little girls dressed up in their princess costumes and crowns, waving their Rapunzel flags. Even if you aren’t a Disney fan, it’s pretty incredible I think.

Missed my earlier posts? Click here.

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Tags: , , | Categories: GoodyBlog

Rapunzel Visits Big Ben

Friday, September 30th, 2011

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Madelyn and I have arrived in London for the Disney event honoring Rapunzel. Oddly Madelyn is less jet lagged than I am. When I wanted to nap today, she pulled me up saying she wanted to go to the park. So we took the tube a couple stops to Hyde Park, where we found horses, gorgeous gardens and a nice playground. At the playground, there was a flier posting the celebration for Rapunzel’s party and inviting London families to attend! The flier said the best place to stand to watch the procession — wow, can’t imagine it’ll be that packed. But maybe? In any case, it got Madelyn even more worked up!

 

 

 

Here, she is playing on the new app (made especially for Rapunzel’s big day) at a little Italian restaurant off Oxford street. Meanwhile, Rapunzel was further downtown at Big Ben. Tomorrow we hope to hit the Tower of London and Hampton Court for even more Princess mania.

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Rapunzel on the Thames

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Ok; so now we actually get a look at the to-be crowned princess and not just her hair (see previous posts). Amazingly, she looks like she came right off the screen in Tangled. (Is she human?!). Guess I’ll find out this weekend.

Here’s today’s official report from Disney:

Today Rapunzel stopped at the Thames riverside to admire the beautiful Tower Bridge in the glorious late September sunshine. The future princess arrived in London to do some sightseeing before she is officially welcomed as the 10th Disney Princess character at a high profile, star-studded celebration that will take place in front of a global audience on October 2, 2011. Rapunzel will be visiting famous London landmarks every day this week (September 26-30) and taking pictures along her journey.

For her celebration, little princesses from across the globe will watch Rapunzel be welcomed into the Disney Princess royal court by Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas, Snow White and Tiana. As an official member of the Disney Princess court, she will be celebrated and recognized as such across Disney, and will be included in all Disney Princess products featuring multiple characters, in addition to her own merchandise line.

Madelyn’s counting down the hours. We’ve already packed her Trunki with her full Rapunzel costume!

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Tags: , , , | Categories: Travel

Rapunzel spotted in London

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

So my daughter Madelyn and I are going to be attending this Disney princess event in London this weekend inducting Rapunzel into the Royal Princess Court, where she’ll be officially crowned. If you remember from the Disney-version of her story, Rapunzel never got her actual crown. It was snatched away by Flynn Rider. You’d think after she saved his life she could get it back? (Ungrateful little thief!). But maybe they are saving that for the sequel. In any case, the hype about her coronation already begun. Just got an email today from Disney saying Rapunzel has been spotted in the Tower of London. Look closely at the pic below and you’ll see her golden hair hanging out the tower window. Wonder if they still charged her the $25 entry fee?

Click here to read this blog series from the beginning.

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Act Like A Princess!

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Let me start by saying I didn’t think that I’d be one of those moms who condoned The Princess Lifestyle for my almost 5-year-old daughter. When Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter came out last year I agreed with a lot of what she said. I’m (what feels like the last remaining) feminist, and I definitely don’t want my little girl to grow up thinking that some prince is going to ride up and save her on a white horse. Or that her beautiful eyes/long hair/perfect plastic boobs will bring her love/luck/work (oh wait — maybe they will! But still I don’t want to teach her that!). Regardless, there is no escaping princesses, especially the Disney variety. So over the last year or so, I’ve learned to roll with it and use her love of princesses to my advantage. Luckily, Disney has made the latest heroines less swooning and helpless (although they are still gorgeous). If you’ve watched any of the blockbusters in the last couple of years, you’ll know that Princesses kick some major booty. Rapunzel for one is vicious with a frying pan. In fact, we use “princess” in our home as a euphemism for “tough,” because Madelyn responds to it. My husband frequently says things to her like, “Act like a princess!  Get out there and kick that soccer ball! Brush yourself off! You’re OK! Rapunzel would keep going!” And amazingly it works. (That’s her above munching on a start-shaped pineapple at a princess bash last year, btw.)

Anyway, the point of this post is really to set you up for a string of posts over the next week. As an editor at Parents, I was invited, along with Madelyn (does she realize how good she has it?!), to attend a special ceremony in London honoring Rapunzel’s induction into the Disney Royal Court (along with the other 9: you know, like Cinderella and Jasmine and Snow White … see pic here.) And of course Madelyn nearly had a stroke when I told her about the prospect of going. (“Will Flynn Rider be there too?!”)

My husband is from London so I figured we could use a it a good opportunity to hang with the fam who we don’t see enough. But who’s kidding who. We’re there for the glitz and glam and all that is princess! Follow along over the next couple of days as I post about our adventures.

 

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Daily News Roundup

Monday, October 25th, 2010

British kids log on and learn math- in Punjab:
Three state schools in London outsource part of their teaching to India via the Internet through new online-based company BrightSpark.  Students can now have a one on one tutoring experience at half the price that a British tutor would charge. [New York Times]

Kids’ docs urged to screen new moms for depression: The Pediatrics Academy says that over 400,000 babies are born to depressed mothers each year, and that their conditions can affect their babies as well. Research shows developmental and social delays occur often in babies with depressed moms. [MSNBC]

Raisinets recalled over peanut risk: Nestle has recalled has recalled 10 oz. “fun size” bags sold to Target, Shoprite, and Don Quixote stores because they may contain peanuts. Nestle says the recall only applies to candy with the 02015748 production code and UPC number of 2800010255. [MSNBC]

40,000 drop-side cribs recalled for safety risk: The recalled Ethan Allen, Angel Line, and Victory Land Heritage Collection 3-in-1 cribs have drop-sides that can detach due to faulty hardware or wear and tear, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This can create a gap where young children can be trapped or suffocated. In the past five years more than 9 million drop-side cribs have been recalled and caused at least 32 infant deaths since 2000. [CBS News]

First four months critical to new babies sleep habits: A new study in the journal Pediatrics finds that most babies will sleep five to eight hours per night by their fourth month of life. Many babies will sleep while the rest of the family is sleeping–50 percent of babies at age five months. [Paging Dr. Gupta/CNN]

Celery recall plant awaits results from FDA: The FDA linked four deaths to contaminated celery from a Texas plant. The state health department traced six of 10 known cases of listeriosis during an eight-month period to celery processed at the SanGar plant. On Wednesday the agency shut down the plant and ordered the company to recall all the produce that has passed through the plant since January. [MSNBC]

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