To The Dads

Olympians and their moms have kind of become A Thing. Michael Phelps' mom is almost as famous as he is nowadays, and then there's this commercial.

*pauses to wipe away tears*

But what about the dads?

My dad and I. Both in our Miami sweatshirts, obviously. :)
I'm not an Olympian, but when I played soccer, my dad was driving me to practice every week and watching all my games, just like my mom was. And he's all ready for the summer to end so he can come to Colorado, pack all my stuff into Buzz and road trip back to New York with me. (If, of course, Buzz is up to the task at that point.)

This morning in the dining hall, ESPN was on one of the TVs, and there was a countdown of the best father-son moments in sports. As a daughter, I'm affronted (kidding), but it did sort of get me thinking about Olympic dads.

The moment that was number one on the ESPN countdown was actually an Olympic moment; Derek Redmond and his father. Words don't do it justice, so here's another commercial that'll give your goosebumps goosebumps.

Then, of course, there's my car's namesake. :) Buzz Schneider won a gold medal with the Miracle on Ice hockey team, scoring five goals in the Olympic tournament. Twenty-four years later, a movie about that team premiered with Billy Schneider starring as his dad.

This is actually one of my favorite things in the world. 
We also can't forget about the Gary Halls! Gary Sr. swam at Mexico City 1968, Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976, winning two silvers and a bronze. Gary Jr. swam in Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, winning five golds, three silvers and two bronzes. They're the first father/son pair to each make three Olympic appearances. When I interviewed Gary Sr. back in 2010, he told me that he's prouder of his son's accomplishments than he is of any of his own.

Apolo Ohno is, without a doubt, the most famously motherless athlete. He was raised by his dad after his mom left when he was a baby, and isn't shy about talking about how little it affected his life. He has no desire to find her. And he's always saying how wonderful is dad was and is, and how Papa Ohno is the only person he needs in his corner.

And if you think I'm going to neglect to mention what's probably the most famous father-related moment in American Olympic history, you're very much mistaken! Jim Craig had just won the gold medal and, instead of celebrating with his teammates, skated away to find his dad in the stands. If seeing him searching the crowd and asking, "Where's my father?" doesn't tug on your heartstrings, you have no soul.

Oddly enough, ESPN's countdown might've been onto something -- why are there no father/daughter moments on this list? Hmm. I think I need to do some research into this. But, just for fun, here's Aly Raisman's mom and dad watching her compete.

I wholeheartedly agree with the cackling in the background. :)

Happy Father's Day!

1 comment :