Celebrating the Olympics


I’ve been reading all of the amazing stories and inspirational words from the parents of the McDonald’s® Olympic Hopefuls Program. It makes me so proud of our Canadian athletes and their parents now that the Games that they have been working and training for their whole lives are starting. It also strikes me that the lessons learned from these families are not specific to elite athletes. The messages are all consistent, with love and support being the common thread throughout. What else would give these kids the confidence they need to be so successful?
As a mom of two tween boys who are active in just about every sport out there, I can appreciate the challenges that Alex Despatie’s mom, Christiane, writes regarding scheduling and logistics taking over the family routine. Driving to, and from, practices and games while trying to fit in a healthy meal (fit for an elite athlete) is no easy feat!

Having said that, there is still always time for a family game of Scrabble by the fireplace as long as you make it a priority. That’s why I was heartened to read that the Dionne family do that as well. The busier and more hectic life gets, the greater the need to regroup as a family. That gives kids (whether they are athletes or not) the rest and the grounding they need.

Another one of my favourite posts was written by Janny and Joan Arendz, parents of Paraympian, Mark. They speak of how Mark inspires them and everyone around him every day. His determination, but most of all his bravery, is what inspires them as parents to be better people. This is seriously good reading for any parent.

Look for upcoming posts from Manon Goulet, speed skater Charles Hamelin’s mom, who will be sending us posts live from the Games.

So we have common themes of support: eating healthy meals, lots of sacrifice and spending time together. What struck me the most is that these families all really like each other. They are bonded with the same stuff that connects most families but their bonds run deeper because they share the same goals. Perhaps that is what keeps them so close.

I know I have learned a great deal from these remarkable families, especially the part about having common goals that everyone works toward. They might not be Olympic ones, but they are yours and the whole team can work together to reach them.

What are your family goals for this year? I would love to hear them.


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