Thanks to family, better than gold

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It was great that snowboarder Shaun White won an Olympic gold medal Tuesday night.

What was even greater? He thanked his parents.

The morning after his win in the half-pipe competition, the 23-year-old White went on the Today show and credited much of his success to his parents, saying he couldn’t never done it with out them.

So true.

A Southern California kid, White’s parents introduced him to skiing at the age of four. White quickly took to the sport, flying down the slopes with his older siblings. His parents introduced him to snowboarding at the age of 6, hoping that the snowboard would would slow him down.

Like many parents, in many sports, they took him to the mountains often and instilled a love of snowsports that culimated with his Olympic medals.

You hear the same things from many of the Olympic athletes who thank their families.

It also happened with Seth Wescott, the snowboarder from Maine, who also won a gold medal in the snowboard cross earlier this week. After learning he won the gold, he wrapped an American flag around his shoulders celebrating his victory.

But is wasn’t just any flag. It was the flag placed on the coffin of his grandfather, a World War II veteran who died when Wescott was in elementary school. 

The flag was the same one he wore after winning the inaugural Olympic title four years ago in Italy. The flag had been given to his late grandfather Ben by the U.S. military. 

The flag was the same one he wore after winning the inaugural Olympic title four years ago in Italy. The flag had been given to his late grandfather Ben by the U.S. military.

These gestures, in words and action, go a long way to all parents and families who are usually on the sidelines cheering them out away from the spotlights.

Very few people see their children win Olympic medals. But prizes come in different ways,  like in years later when we’re sharing good times while skiing with our grown-up “kids.”

It’s even nicer when they say, “Thanks, Dad for teaching me how to ski.”

Categories: General
Jim Shay

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