As part of Procter & Gamble’s “Thank you Mom” campaign, I was given a special opportunity find out for myself and join a roundtable discussion with U.S. Olympians, Team USA hopefuls and their moms. This great opportunity came just hours after P&G, the world’s largest consumer products maker, made the announcement on the Today show that it would be giving each of the moms of all U.S. Olympians and Paralympians a $1,000 Visa reward card to use for their travels to London for the 2012 Olympic games. What an amazing Mother’s Day gift! Here’s a clip of the fantastic announcement:
Following this exciting news, I was able to join these Olympians and their moms during a roundtable discussion via phone. Some of the amazing athletes included:
· Shawn Johnson, 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist in gymnastics and her mom, Teri Johnson
· Ashton Eaton, World record holder in Heptathlon and mom, Roslyn Eaton
· Diana Lopez, Tae Kwon Do Olympian and her mother, Ondina Lopez
· Sarah Robles, 2012 Olympian Weightlifter and her mom, Joy Robles
· Jordyn Wieber, 2011 World Champion in gymnastics and mom, Rita Wieber.
· Margie Walsh, mother to Kerri Walsh, Team USA Volleyball Champion.
· Barbara Rogers, adoptive mom to Lopez Lomong, a member of the 2008 Summer Olympic team.
· Marlene Shirley, adoptive mother of Marlon Shirley – Gold medalist and world record holding Paralympian.
Both the athletes and their moms recounted some inspiring and heartwarming stories. To start out the discussion the athletes were asked the all-important question: What was the best advice your mother ever gave you?
Ashton replied that his mom always told him that with whatever he wanted to do, to do it to the best of his ability. She also explained the importance of being respectful and not stepping on others along the way.
Sarah Roble’s mom has told her to do her best, have fun and give it one hundred percent. Sometimes that one hundred percent won’t be enough, but give it your all, and you can have no regrets.
A fellow blogger, and mother of a 9 year old sports player, asked, “How much do you let them do? How do you ensure their well-being and balance family with sports?”
Teri Johnson replied, “Know your child and what they can take. Not every child can do it…know their limits”.
Margie Walsh added, “Do other things. Be a normal kid. You don’t want to burn out at a young age. Do the parties. Do the sleepovers. As they get older they can make those choices between social activities and sports.”
Caroline, from smartypantsmom.com asked the question, “What was that wow moment when you thought ‘this kid has talent’?”
Barbara Rogers commented on her adoptive son Lopez Lomong, “Lopez was one of the lost boys of Sudan, and when he came to us everyone thought he was a soccer player, but the local soccer team was rowdy and we suggested the cross country team. Once he realized he could do good and believed in himself, he had so much support from the team and other parents.” An inspiring fact about Lopez Lomong was that just one year after gaining US citizenship, he carried the flag for the US at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Marlene Shirley, mom to Marlon Shirley added, “Marlon was at a crossroads in his life and was on crutches. We were living in Utah and he wanted to go up to Idaho and do high jump. He was an amputee competing in the high jump, and when he went to do with it with a prosthetic device he broke the record. His coach then told us about the Paralympics. We had never heard of the Paralympics. It was a wow moment.”
In the spirit of Mother’s Day and in anticipation of the 2012 Olympics in London, P&G has released a moving commercial that reflects on the same commitment, sacrifice, joy and pain that the moms of Olympians all over the world share. I advise viewers to have the Kleenex ready!
Momstart wishes Team USA athletes and their families all the best at 2012 Olympic Game in London!
To learn more about P&G’s “Thank you Mom” campaign, please visit http://www.facebook.com/thankyoumom
Disclosure – Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.
Emily is also very active in the local MOMS CLUB. She raises chickens and has 2 shih tzus. Her daughter Caitlyn attends Montessori school and she hates housecleaning, loves wine and enjoys dining out. She would love to find a cure for the depression and anxiety she has dealt with on and off over the past 10 years, just like me. She is an amazing mom and friend.