Culture & Entertainment

An Olympic momversation

By: Guest Blogger
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

An Olympic momversation

By: Guest Blogger
Jen Reynolds, Editor-in-Chief and amateur hockey mom of 9-year-old James, reports from Sochi! As an invited media guest of Olympic sponsor P&G and their Thank You Mom campaign, I have exclusive behind-the-scenes access to a number of Canadian Olympians and get the inside scoop on what they are really like from the ones who know them best of all: their moms and dads. Hours after arriving in Sochi, I met two sets of incredible parents: Cheryl and Ray Simundson, the parents of bobsleigh gold medalist Kaillie Humphries and Shanne Matthews and Leo Groenewoud ,the parents of Roz Groenewoud (affectionally known as Roz G). I was happy to have some great conversations with both moms who have a lot in common: first of all, they are both the parents of extreme athletes, with daughters who compete in hard-core events that have been traditionally dominated by men. (I’ve only spoken to both moms briefly about this but I’ll get the inside scoop for you and report back on some of the hurdles both Kaillie Humphries and Roz G have faced). Moms of Olympians at Canada House I met up with the moms again in the afternoon at Canada House where we “warmed up” with a cold beverage before we headed out together to catch the figure skating (the ice dancing short program) at the Iceberg Skating Palace. The Palace is an impressive building and as soon as we arrived we spotted one of the many stands selling beautiful bouquets wrapped perfectly in cellophane to throw on the ice after your favourite figure skaters perform. It was a no brainer for moms Cheryl and Shanne who exclaimed in unison that we needed to pick up flowers to toss after Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir skate. Swiftly, a bouquet of pink gerbera daisies and sweetheart roses was selected and it was decided that Cheryl would make the throw when the time came. FYI: a dazzling bouquet runs about the same price it would in Canada, about $50-$70. Cheryl Simundson, Kailllie Humpries' mom (Photo: Cheryl holding the bouquet) I was very curious to observe how moms of Olympians watch other people’s children compete. Without me even asking, Cheryl, Kaillie’s mom, confessed how nervous she was for Kate Virtue (that’s Tessa Virtue’s mom) and spent a while trying to spot her in the crowd. Finally she did and as the skaters finished and we got closer and closer to the 18 th pair to skate, all the Canadians in the building got louder and louder. Tessa and Scott took the ice, were flawless, the bouquet was thrown (wrapped in a red and white scarf and sealed with a P&G Thank You Mom pin just to make sure the pair knew who it came from) and nerves settled, we were back in our seats to see the first place results they generated after their performance. I could tell by the smiles and loud cheers that last night was a fun evening for Cheryl and Shanne, a night off from being nervous about the upcoming competitions of their daughters.
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An Olympic momversation

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