Olympic athletes attribute career success to their mothers’ support

Lacing up their skates and hitting the Scotiabank Saddledome ice, members of the Canadian Olympic figure skating team will be performing for Calgarians following a successful representation of their country at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
In the spirit of Mother’s Day, The Calgary Journal caught up with some of the athletes to talk all things mom:

Kaetlyn Osmond

Photo courtesy of starsonice.ca

Kaetlyn Osmond, 18

2014 Canadian senior ladies champion, 2014 Olympic Winter Games – 13th place in senior ladies

“My mother has contributed and supported my career in any way she could. [She was] always there pushing me and having my back whenever it felt like things weren’t working out.
“My best advice is to always be there to help your [children] in any way you can. Push them to do their best, but don’t push them too hard [where] they lose sight of the fun and love of their dream.”

 Meagan Duhamel, 28 and Eric Radford, 29

2014 Canadian senior pairs champions, 2014 Olympic Winter Games – second in team event, seventh place in pairs event

Duhamel:Eric Radford and Meagan Duhamel

Photo courtesy of starsonice.ca
“My mom is my role model and No. 1 fan. I told my mom when I was 14 that I needed to move away from home to train so I could go to the Olympics. Although she was hesitant, she allowed me to go and told me that whenever I wanted to come home it was okay and I didn’t need to stay and skate if I wasn’t happy.”

“My advice would be to stay positive and open minded. Keep your distance and try not to become the coach. Always make sure your child is enjoying themselves and stay supportive during the difficult times — that’s when they need you the most!”

Radford:
“My mom has always supported me in my decisions on how I was going to achieve my dream of making it to the Olympics. Whether it was moving away rom home when I was 13, or moving to train in Germany when I was 20, she believed and had confidence in me and my goals.”

“[My advice would be to] always support your children in chasing their dreams rather than trying to direct them. Let them make their own decisions and let them know that no matter what happens, whether they have success or failure, you will love them no matter what.”

Kurt Browning

Photo courtesy of Mike OkoniewskiKurt Browning, 47
Veteran four-time world champion, four-time Canadian champion and three-time Canadian Olympic team member

“Nothing was ever asked of me other than skate hard and have fun. We were very close to each other. It could have gone the other way, considering we spent between 15 to 20 hours together in the car each week. [But] I knew that I was lucky to have her with me.”

“She taught me that it was OK to question things that we were just expected to accept as the universal norm.”

“We talked about everything together and I never, even as a teenager, felt that I needed to keep things from her. [Both my parents] taught me by example how to live, all while keeping my skating moving forward. “

“Communication is my best advice to parents and athletic children. How can they be a team if they do not share how they feel? If a child is worried about what their parents will say then they will stay quiet and lose heart.”

The tour is in its 28 season. Olympic champion Scott Hamilton started Stars on Ice after his contract with Ice Capades was not renewed in 1986. Originating in the United States, Stars on Ice came to Canada in 1990.

It has featured the talent of many well-known skaters over the years such as: Brian Orser, Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, Emanuel Sandhu, Elvis Stojko, Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, among many more.

Investors Group Stars on Ice is coming to Calgary on May 11 at 4 p.m. to the Scotiabank Saddledome. Tickets can be purchased from www.ticketmaster.ca, www.starsonice.ca, or by phone at 855-985-5000. Prices range from $37.25 to $145.75.

dswan@cjournal.ca