This is part of a compensated campaign with Kellogg’s.
As I stood in Times Square earlier this week for Team USA’s excitement-building Road to Sochi Tour, I thought back to those days when my father and I would plant ourselves in front of our 1970’s TV to cheer on our favorite athletes. I love the Olympics…the excitement…the precision…the determination…the emotion. While I never pursued any sport fervently enough to aspire towards such a feat, I distinctly remember watching Dominique Dawes and Shannon Miller’s medal-winning performances, wondering what that journey looked like. Along with gymnastics, figure skating was also intently watched in our household. We watched in awe as Kristi Yamaguchi, Michelle Kwan, and Nancy Kerrigan graced the ice, and I believe that our regular family ventures to our local ice skating rink were inspired by these champions.
Television and the media do an impeccable job of highlighting these Olympic athletes once they’ve been placed on Team USA. But have you ever wondered how the athletes began their venture? When did their Olympic dreams become a reality? What obstacles did they have to overcome? With less than 100 days to Sochi, Kellogg’s hosted a kick-off event in New York to highlight the start stories of Team Kellogg’s U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes. There stories are journeys of strength, hope, passion, dedication, and a resolve not to give up.
One of my favorite quotes of the day came from Ice Hockey Legend & Team Co-Captain Jim Craig…
If you don’t have a dream, how can you make it come true?
In fact, as I was making my way around the room to speak with each of the Olympic hopefuls, I caught part of an interview Fred from MochaDad was conducting with Craig. Just from the few minutes we had with him, I got a sense of his commitment to his family, citing fatherhood as his most important job. He talked about the hard work it takes to achieve success in all aspects of life and the role dreams play in achieving those goals.
Co-captain Kristi Yamaguchi was equally humble, hopeful, inspirational, and full of sage wisdom.
Many life lessons can be gleaned from these athletes. Some have overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, including snowboarder Amy Purdy who lost both of her legs and her spleen when she acquired meningitis at the age of 19. Rather than give up, she chose to “live it.”
What do you do when you’re 19 years old and you lose both your legs? You can either give up life, or you can live it. I choose to live it.
For U.S. Army Veteran Heath Calhoun, rehabilitation in Colorado allowed him the opportunity to mono ski. This was the first time since his accident in Iraq that he felt whole again.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White grew up 10 minutes from each other. From the moment they met at their local ice skating rink in Michigan, they became a team. In 2011, they became the first American ice dancers to win the world championships and repeated that victory in 2013. We had the incredible privilege of not only meeting Meryl and Charlie, but ice skating with them at Rockefeller Center. To say they are incredible is not sufficient. The way they grace the ice rink is unlike any couple I’ve seen in quite some time and I’m elated to watch their Olympic journey.
The story that touched me at my core was Skeleton competitor Noelle Pikus-Pace, aka the “Fastest Mom on Ice.” For those unfamiliar with the sport, athletes speed down an icy track on a small sled at speeds of 80-90 mph, face first! When a severe injury threatened to end her career, Noelle persevered, rehabilitated, and came back just a year after her injury to win the World Championship.
This season, Kellogg’s will support 9 athletes as they train for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. As part of their Give a Great Start Initiative, Kellogg’s will donate 1 breakfast to a child in need for every view, re-tweet, pin, or share of the athletes’ Start Stories or their Great Start content online. Their goal is to provide 2 million breakfasts to children across the country.
One in five kids goes without breakfast every day.
Today…in 2013…I still find it difficult to wrap my mind around this fact. I’ve shared this before, but breakfast is the most important meal for a person, particularly a child and affects behavior, weight, growth, and development. I am honored to have partnered with Kellogg’s to help children get this very important start to their day.
Will you join me?
Images: Rockin’ Mama unless otherwise noted.