What Does it Take to be an Olympian Parent?
USA Today interviewed parents of Olympians and asked them to share some nuggets of wisdom on grooming an Olympics bound athlete. Paramount of course, “I would say back them 100% and don’t force them or push them to do it. If they want to do it, they’ll do it. Just support them.”, shares Ronald Hamlin of Remsen, NY, father of Erin Hamlin, 2014 bronze medalist in luge and 2018 U.S. flag bearer.
Keep in mind that embarking on the Olympic journey does not always end up in achieving the dream. Whether or not your child becomes an Olympian, the journey that you traverse could be long and perilous. For these special parents and Olympians, the fruit of their labor and sacrifices was well worth it. Here are some of of their thoughts:
- “Allowing him to leave home at a young age (16) to train at the Olympic training center in order to improve and get stronger. I had to learn to let him go. I couldn’t keep him home for myself … He had to leave in order to pursue his dreams of becoming an Olympian.” — Maria Corazon Crain, mother of short-track speedskater Aaron Tran
- “It actually does take the parents kind of working in harmony. Both parents have to have a good work ethic and they have to be committed and they also have to have a certain amount of toughness. That doesn’t mean being mean, but you can’t allow the kids to quit. You try something once, you don’t say I don’t like it. Nobody likes anything the first time.” — Don and Lisa Little, parents of Broc Little, a forward on U.S. men’s hockey team
The Olympic journey has no guarantees and will require parents and athletes to spend most if not all of their time dedicated to the sport and will require a substantial financial investment to fulfill this pursuit. It is certainly not for those other than the extremely devoted and passionate. But for these very lucky few, the personal sacrifices are worth their weight in gold — possibly even Olympic gold.
For more information: How to raise an Olympian: Team USA parents discuss their paths to success
Image Credit: Future Stars Camps