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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: July 30, 2012

Why do you watch the Olympics? My kids are watching the athletes for their superhuman moves. From swimming to volleyball to cycling, Olympians are pushing themselves to excel beyond our expectations and their limitations.

But while my kids are rooting for the home team, I'm looking at the moms and dads behind these seemingly superhuman beings. It's the family relationships that fascinate me. I'm amazed that extraordinary athletes have moms who seem quite regular like me. While American gymnast John Orozco flies through the air, his mom, Damaris, is peeking from behind her hands, unable to watch but unable not to watch. Which parent can't relate to that emotion of apprehension? We hold our breath when our Little Leaguers take their very first swing at home plate, and we keeping holding our breath even when they reach the height of the Olympics. In our eyes, they remain our babies, and better than anyone, we know their frailties, even as we are amazed by their power.

For sure, the Olympics reveal the strength of the human spirit to overcome difficulties, whether athletes are running without human legs, as double amputee South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius does, or just landing at the 2012 games when their family has trouble paying for the mortgage, as happened with Orozco.  Never giving up is a wonderful message your kids take home from the Olympics. 

The games also expose kids to other cultures and sports.  If watching the games makes your children want to try some of the less common summer Olympic sports, from archery to water polo, look here for Triangle spots offering them.  Also check our Sports Leagues and Clubs Directory for places they can play a range of sports.

For a zany twist on the Olympics, head to Marbles Kids Museum, in downtown Raleigh, for the Marbles Olympics daily at 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. through Saturday, Aug. 4. The program invites kids to join in creative fun every day, from pool noodle fencing and scooter rowing to paper boat sailing, as a way of celebrating their own accomplishments.


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