By Karen Hendricks
It’s one of the most inspiring, thrilling times on the planet–the 2014 Winter Olympic Games are underway and simply mesmerizing me with every story line. From the Opening Ceremonies straight through all of the events, I love to soak up all the stories behind the athletes–their incredible dedication to their sports, grueling training, heart-breaking injuries, triumphant comebacks, and their passionate attempts to “go for the gold.”
What a fantastic opportunity for families to enjoy all of the festivities together! I’m not typically one to leave the television on for long periods of time, but when the Olympics are on, I don’t mind leaving the TV on for long stretches of time for “unlimited watching.” Even if we’re not in the room, we can pop back in to catch all the important moments.
It’s a great time to talk to your kids about the value of setting goals, the importance of perseverance, and so much more:
- How competition involves both physical and mental strength
- The power of positive thinking
- Always trying to do your best
- Lessons learned from “not” winning
- The grace and humility exhibited by many of the athletes
- The spirit of patriotism
- The amazing precision of teamwork in team events
- What would it feel like, to have all eyes of the the world upon you?
- What does it truly mean to be an Olympian?
Family is also a central theme at the Olympics. Not only do you see the sheer joy on the faces of family members cheering for their loved ones, but through the athletes’ stories, you understand how families’ support and love provides a foundation for years of training and preparation. The dreams of athletes can only become reality if they are uplifted and shared by their families.
Here are a few more inspiring Olympic stories…
The Cake of Champions
One of my family’s favorite Olympic celebrations involves cake! For as long as I can remember, since my children were very young, we have made a cake and decorated it with M&M’s to form the Olympic rings. This delicious dessert works for both Winter and Summer Olympics… but one word of warning: unless you have a big crowd to devour it, the colors on the M&M’s “bleed” into the frosting when it sits for more than a day, even if refrigerated. It takes some planning to form the rings so here are a few tips: lightly press a glass into your frosting to form the outlines for the 5 rings, a younger child can separate the colors of M&M’s into small bowls, and an older child can place the candies into the frosting.
Does your family have a special Olympic memory? Tradition? Feel free to share your ideas and comments below… and enjoy the games!