Thursday, August 30, 2012

Meeting an Olympian

I have been so busy this week.  I mean so busy that almost took A to the wrong park last night for her soccer game.  I like it, but it can be hectic.  Oh, and the park thing.  Bound to happen.  They play at 2 different parks and I just got turned around.  Ren plays tonight at the other park.  See, totally confused.'s been an exciting week around our town.  We found out last week that our the local Olympic Gold Medalist was coming home for a visit.  Yup, my little small town has turned out not one, but two Olympic gold medalists.  It's kind of a big deal.

My kids were all super excited when they found out she was coming to visit our town.  During the Olympics, our television was never turned off.  Ever.  Most of the time we were watching the coverage from NBC in the living room while soccer was on in the spare room.  Oh, and streaming.  We streamed a lot of events that weren't even touched upon on the national media coverage.  I really loved chatting casually with the kids about each sport.  If we didn't know a lot about it, we'd research it.  It was a good learning experience and we found out some fun things about each sport.  The biggest thing we did was to look up and research athletes from the Cincinnati area.  We figured that putting a 'hometown' emphasis on a few athletes would spark something in our kids.  It worked!

[caption id="attachment_6178" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="I took this at A's school. Check out the Gold Medal!"][/caption]

Then we stumbled upon an athlete that was from our city!  We couldn't believe it.  She wasn't just from our city, but had overcome huge obstacles and was favored to win Gold.  The sport was Judo.  The athlete, Kayla Harrison.  We didn't have the first clue what judo is.  So, we researched it.  We watched matches on YouTube.  We read about the sport online.  It was fun for our whole family!  The day Kayla competed for Gold, A and CS were glued to the computer.  While her match was streamed a little too early for the girls to be awake, we watched it on replay.  They cheered the whole time!

So back to the part where we meet an Olympian.  In all honesty, we didn't actually 'meet' her in that we had a conversation kind of meet.  It was the type of thing where she visited each of the schools and talked to the kids.  Her speech for the younger kids revolved around setting goals and having dreams.  She challenged each of the kids to set small goals as well as large ones.  She even elaborated on it by explaining what that means and giving examples.  It was pretty awesome to stand back and watch this well spoken woman inspire a crowd of young children.  Truly amazing actually.  I was in total awe.

She captivated the kids and made a big impression on my three.  CS, A and Ren are still talking about it.  CS commented on how cool her hair was done and that she thought her sunglasses rocked.  Big deals for a 4 year old little girl!  Ren is talking about martial arts again and I see him trying something soon.  A made a goal list "just like Kayla".  Her list made me so excited and proud.  Her small goals are to read a chapter book a week, pass her spelling test each Friday, help out Mommy more, keep her room clean and have great soccer practices.  Her dream is to "be the goalie for the US Women's soccer team at the Olympics".  Big dreams for a 7 1/2 year old little girl!  We are going to do all we can to help her with her goals and dreams.  If her dream someday changes, that's okay.  All 3 of the kids have our unwavering love and support no matter what.

So, this week we 'met' an Olympic athlete.  Kayla inspired our little girl to dream big dreams and set reachable goals.  For that I thank her.  Sparking something in a child is a big deal and doesn't happen every day.

If you get a chance, go check out Kayla Harrison's website.  It really is a big deal for our town.  Kayla's visit has put a spark in the children of our area!

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