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The Olympics felt different this time around. For starters, I am now older than about 99.99% of the athletes competing in the Games and I’ve finally, and a bit reluctantly, let go of my dream of somehow whipping myself into Olympic-caliber shape and, against all odds, making the team in some sport that I haven’t played since the early 1990s. This was also the first Olympics that my kids were old enough to watch with me and really understand the incredible feats that the athletes were undertaking. In Olympics past, it was all about the competition for me. Who won, how well they competed, what new records were set, and the final medal count. This year, I found myself much more into the touching back stories that used to drive me crazy. Every time I turned on the Olympics this year, parenting, at least for the night, became a little bit easier. I couldn’t glimpse Bob Costas or watch an event without being spoon-fed some great teaching moment. From the amazing Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee sprinter from South Africa and his unbelievable perseverance and upbeat attitude, to McKayla Maroney getting a silver medal when the announcers had all but handed her the gold, to the fantastically normal and well adjusted Missy Franklin who turned down commercial sponsorship and likely millions so that she can go on to swim for a college team. With most events, interviews and coverage online and readily available on YouTube and elsewhere, I plan on tapping these great Olympic stories in the upcoming weeks when I’m short on bedtime material, need to teach a lesson or just want to inspire my kids. I’d love to hear your Olympic and highlights and what athletes or stories inspired your family.

 

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  1. What a great experience for us to watch the Olympics for the first time with our nine year old. A totally bonding family experience! But I plan on emailing NBC to complain about saving all the medal ceremonies until the end of the broadcast which is way way past bedtime (his AND ours and no, we don’t have DVr). He was so invested in the competitions that it seemed cruel to cheat him out of the medal ceremony. So there we were at 11pm each night – can’t they mix it up a little so we can see medal ceremonies throughout the night?

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