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Positive Gymnastics/Olympic Role Models

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txgymfan

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Spinning off the SJ and Aly threads.

Who are the former gymnasts or other Olympic sport role models that you most admire and hope your DD or DS will notice and why?

During the Olympics, I made it a point to talk about Katie Ledecky. She is one of the best swimmers of all time, a student at Stanford and always comes across as humble, grateful and intelligent. She seemes like an amazing young woman and we cheered loudly for all of her races.

As a gymnast, I admire Amanda Bordon, she said she wanted to own a gym when she was at her Olympics and she has done that successfuly. She maintains a friendship with her former coach and team mates and is a great example of a former star living a normal but successful adult life.

Who do you admire ( men and women) and why? So many athletes are showing us that dedication to sport can contribute to a successful adulthood.
 
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MILgymFAM

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I asked my DD. She admires Chuso first and foremost for her staying power and do-anything for her kid attitude, and because “she has no give-up in her”. She admires Aly because she seems like a great teammate and a positive, open person, and because she was such an average gymnast when she was little- but she wouldn’t be denied and now she has “the most amazing floor routine in the world”. She admires Amy Chow for being successful, moving on and finishing college, and becoming a doctor. She admires Kerri Strug for her honesty about what elite gymnastics was like, “before it was cool to do so.”
 

mommyof1

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Not a former athlete but a current one: My daughter thinks Tatyana McFadden is amazing for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that she taught herself to walk on her hands.
 
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txgymfan

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On the men's side, please search n YouTube for Roger Federer's speech after winning the Australian Open in 2017. Wow! He made it immediately after winning and was so humble and respectful to his opponent and both of their support teams. I made my girls listen to it and discuss. If anyone has a right to brag he does, but she doesn't do it.
 

duyetanh

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I asked my DD. She admires Chuso first and foremost for her staying power and do-anything for her kid attitude, and because “she has no give-up in her”. She admires Aly because she seems like a great teammate and a positive, open person, and because she was such an average gymnast when she was little- but she wouldn’t be denied and now she has “the most amazing floor routine in the world”. She admires Amy Chow for being successful, moving on and finishing college, and becoming a doctor. She admires Kerri Strug for her honesty about what elite gymnastics was like, “before it was cool to do so.”
Yes, amy chow!!
 
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ladybird

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My dd and I attended a University of Nebraska meet during her first year on team. We stood in line for autographs afterwards and it was interesting interacting with all the girls and their different personalities. A new freshman, Jenny Laeng, seemed genuinely interested in my dd. She asked her what level she was, favorite event, etc. She made quite an impression on both of us.

We have been following her over the years and when we heard about her scary bars fall that year at NCAAs, I just felt sick and said many prayers for her. She was a great leader for her team her senior year.
 

coachmolly

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I loved Mohini Bhardwaj as a UCLA gymnast and cheered her on big time as she worked towards the 2004 Olympic team post college. A few summers later as an 18 year old I was working at a gymnastics camp as a cabin counselor- a pretty bottom of the barrel position. Typically the big name gymnasts, coaches, college athletes, and higher up staff all congregated together and were very cliquey while the lowly folk did their own thing. When Mohini arrived for her week she grabbed her dinner the first night and immediately sat down with the no-name, no rank staff and started chatting with us. It was super cool of her and I respect her a lot to this day. She also has a pretty cool story where she went through a pretty serious rough patch in college after a really wild upbringing in the name of elite level gymnastics and had a major turn around to become incredibly successful and go on to accomplish some of the goals she didn't reach when she was younger.
 

amiandjim

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I love Bridget Sloan! Loved her in elite, and during her career at Florida. She choreographed at my daughter’s gym the last 2 summers and she was always super sweet to the girls! We also met her at NCAA nationals last year and she seems genuinely happy to talk the girls.
 

GAgymmom

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I know several former elite gymnasts and former gymnastics Olympic team members that are just wonderful.
 
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suds

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I take a slightly different approach. For me, labeling a person, especially a national figure, as a good role model has too many pitfalls. I consciously avoid doing this.
As a parent, I appreciate the daunting challenge of attempting to be a strong role model 24 / 7.

Instead, I point out specific behaviors that exemplify positive values. Assimilating the best examples from a variety of people, and incorporating them in to her behavior is my goal.

“Look at this, did you see this / notice this / read this? It is a good example of: “

Persistence: “_________ didn’t give up despite the challenges. She / he kept trying until they got it.”

Resilience: “__________ went through a really tough time and came back strong.”

Integrity: “No one was looking, and no one would have known the difference, but _____ did the right thing and…”

Courage: “It was hard for _________ to do but…. “

Some of the most powerful examples of positive values are right in front of us, waiting quietly for us to notice their unassuming truth.
 
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