Do You Believe in Miracles?
It happened 4 days after my 11th birthday. Sitting crossed-legged on the green shag carpet, my red-striped tube socks pulled up to my knees, I watched in awe as the emotion and drama of the 1980 Olympic Winter Games played out before my eyes on the old wood-paneled console TV.
Even at my young age, I could hardly contain myself when ABC’s Al Michaels passionately called, "Do you believe in miracles? YES!" as the USA men’s hockey team upended the unbeatable Soviet national team. Two days later, Team USA would go on to beat Finland to clinch the gold medal.
The passion and commitment of an underdog team to achieve greatness left an impression on me and provided a source of inspiration that I still draw from to this day. While I’ve never earned an Olympic medal and have never even won a race (other than that of the 3-legged variety at a church picnic), much of the joy, desire, and will I have to stay active, run marathons, race bicycles, and climb rock walls, is due, at least in part, to watching the 1980 Olympics.
4 Tips for Engaging and Inspiring Your Family
Viewing coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics with your children can plant seeds in them that will continue to bloom for a lifetime. Here are some ways to engage your children in this year’s Olympic games and inspire them to pursue a life of fitness:
- Before the games begin, research some of the athletes and introduce them to your children. They will be excited to follow the athletes’ back-stories and their progress throughout the games. This is especially true for athletes who are part of the human-interest stories broadcast by television networks during the games. Here is an excellent Olympics promo video and an Olympic athlete profile video.
- Watch the Olympics together as a family. If your children see that the games are important to you, they will be important to them.
- Stage your own family Olympics by planning a winter outing. Go ice-skating, sledding or tubing, skiing, hiking, or any other outdoor activity. Have an Olympic snowball fight or snowman building contest. Winter activities not your thing? Here is a great indoor family game that will keep you and your children active. You can even make medals with construction paper and ribbon.
- If your child finds a particular Olympic sport engaging, encourage them to explore the sport by reading more about it and even signing up for an introductory lesson. These lessons are often free or deeply discounted.
Watching the Olympics together is a great way to inspire your children. And who knows? There just might be a future Olympian living in your home! The 2014 Winter Olympics begin on February 7. Check broadcast listings at NBC Olympics.