Olympic Superteens 2012

Thank you to Theresa Mazza for yet another inspiring post!

Theresa writes:

The London Olympic games have given the world an excuse to pay close attention to some very exceptional teens! As we cheer on our spectacular teen athletes, you can almost feel the hope and inspiration radiating from the television screen. It has been a refreshing pause reminding us of the potential that lies within every teen.

As I’ve watched the games and read the stories of these athletes, I can’t help but wonder, what is it about these particular teens that gives them the capability of competing and representing their country on the world’s biggest platform?

We might be tempted to answer with the obvious things – talent, opportunity, and discipline. But what if, what if the combination of things that make these teens exceptional is not only about what they have, but also what they lack…

__excessive social lives. “Missy [Franklin] will still have a curfew and still have to do her homework,” her mother reported. – The Boston Globe

__a me, me, me attitude. Gabby Douglas, who left her family in Virginia Beach when she was 14 to train in Iowa, said she wants to be a role model for minorities. – New York Times

__time to obsess about the opposite sex. Several proposals for dates have come in, but Douglas never has had a boyfriend and Hawkins wants to keep it that way for now. –New York Times

__unhealthy desire for attention. Newspapers report that when Gabby Douglas’s car was run down by a fan wanting her autograph, it took her by surprise. She didn’t know what was happening or why, then she thought, Oh that’s right, I’m a gold medalist. – New York Times

___entitlement.These hard working champions put their pants on one leg at a time, except once their pants are on, they win gold medals. 15 yr old gold medalist Katie Ledecky’s is quoted as saying, “I didn’t really expect gold, but I’ll take it” – Sports Illustrated

__uninvolved parents. Missy Franklin’s parents go everywhere with her. The clips of Missy as a young child that have been played during the broadcast of the Olympic games reveal very involved parenting. They were celebrating their daughter long before these Olympic games.

As people committed to loving teens, we may never play a part in training an Olympic gold medalist, but we certainly can help raise teens who lack in all the right places.

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