Sunday, September 22, 2013

Guest blog by Wendy Azevedo

Olympians Don’t Just Happen, They Are Created

A guest blog by my mom, Wendy Azevedo

I’m terrified of roller coasters and ferris wheels; I hate heights.  I’ve never been on or desired to be a part of an athletic team.  I don’t like to exercise, don’t own any lycra, and my “appreciation” of the great outdoors can be summed up in three words…………..“NOT MY THING.”

How, then, can I truly claim to share a genetic code with a member of the USA Women’s Bobsled team?  Not just any member.  Emily is an Olympian.  She was one of six women that competed in the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver, and has been a rank and file member of the USA team for seven years. She scales the tops of mountains only to ride in the back end of what appears to be the gut of a canoe that should be slowly making it’s way down a quiet stream instead of traveling at anywhere from 4-6 g’s at 80-90 mph.

 Having had four daughters who have all been successful in the sporting world, it is not unusual for me to be at a sporting event, or awards ceremony and get asked the question, “So, what sports have you been involved in?”  I try to smile when I say “none,” but the confused look that I get back often makes we wonder if I should have tried to lie instead.  Is it truly possible for an Olympic athlete to come from a home where the only trophies and medals that are displayed are a result of the hard work of the children in the family?

 As an only child, my exposure to the sporting world was limited.  I never experienced the joy of cheering on a sibling at a sporting event or the angst of competing with them to be the best.  Instead, I learned that to truly be the best that I could be, I needed to compete with myself.  And so I did; on a daily basis.

So what do I bring to the table when it comes to creating an Olympian?  I may not have the athletic background, the “sports gene,” or the body structure to contribute to the mix, but to go to the Olympics you must have confidence, believe in yourself, have learned discipline and an understanding that with a strong work ethic and determination you can be anything you want to be.  Combine that with passion and the understanding that if you go to bed at night feeling like you have given your all, you are number one no matter what the scoreboard says.  I gave her that, and she wears it well.


Unknown said...

Thank you for this GREAT post! The link between you two-- and ALL of your daughters-- is and always has been super clear. Loved reading this. Nadeen

Katy Azevedo said...

A great story deserves a great telling. The future tales will inspire us all.

Unknown said...

Well said, a truly inspiring post by a loving mother.

Clara Azevedo said...

Now we need a post from Emily's father.

Anonymous said...

I went to school with Wendy in Bemidji, MN, and she was always a go-getter, hard-worker, and very focused. This truly is the gift that she passed on to Emily. Best wishes, Emily....and hello from Nancy Bemidji.