The 2020 Summer Olympics were a huge hit in our house. Even though my kids might be a bit young to understand the full magnitude of what they witnessed; they still had a blast watching the different events and cheering on the athletes. The Olympics also provided a multitude of teaching moments. Athleticism has so many attributes that build character: determination, teamwork, sportsmanship and working hard to achieve a goal and doing your best. It is amazing to watch these characteristics shine through the athletes as they compete. There is something truly magical in watching a child’s reaction to the Olympics. You see so much excitement and inspiration in their eyes. They soak in this experience and you hope it has a positive effect on them.
The 2021 Olympics took us beyond the fields, courts and arenas, etc. to something more though this year. As we watched from the distance we saw the Olympics bring out the best in our athletes. Here are some of the moments that made 2021 unforgettable:
- Watching two high jumpers decide to share the gold. Talk about teaching your kids to share something their heart really wants with this one.
- Witnessing Tamyra Mensah-Stock cry while holding the US Flag. Tamyra made history as the first US black woman to win wrestling gold. The whole world could feel her passion and excitement.
- Seeing the 1500 meter dash runner fall but still win the final race! A testament to if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! Sifan Hassan falls during semi-finals and comes back to win the gold!
- Seeing Mental Health take a stand as Simone Biles teaches us that emotional and mental wellbeing comes first. As a licensed clinical counselor, hearing Simone use the wording, “I wasn’t medically clear” was valued and heard. Mental health is often misunderstood and taken lightly. Having a mental health issue should be taken as serious as a physical injury. The next generation of athletes, can now hear and see that taking care of yourself mentally, emotionally and physically should come first even over a gold metal.
- My hero, Allyson Felix wins her 11th Olympic medal! Making her the all-time leader in medals among female track and field athletes. Why is she my hero though? This super mom turned a recovery from an emergency c-section into a crusade for better medical treatment for Black women during pregnancy and equitable treatment for all female athletes. Can you believe Nike terminated her contract because she needed to “know her place?” Watching her win was more than just a metal, it was victory for mom’s everywhere; proving Legacy isn’t just on the tracks. Mom’s don’t have to choose between family and dreams, you can have them both!