When it comes to the Olympics, some people live by the statistics. Me, I’m in it for the stories.
One of my favorite elements of Olympics media coverage is the stories of the athletes. Not the medals they’ve won in the World Games. Not the records they’ve shattered. But it’s the challenges that they overcome to make it to their moment of glory that tug at my heart.
Returning Gold medalist Gabby Douglas, one of this year’s fab five on the women’s gymnastics team, was so determined to compete in the World Championships that she completed the competition after fracturing her knee.
And check out these other stories from the Team USA website:
- Gymnast Laurie Hernandez is the first Puerto Rican to make an Olympic team.
- Cyclist Brooke Crain spends her time volunteering for the Freewheel Project, which helps underprivileged kids learn how to ride a bike, manage money, and focus on drug and alcohol prevention.
- Silver medalist synchronized diver Abby Johnston took the plunge into medical school at Duke University.
- Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad will be the first U.S. woman to wear a hijab (the headscarf worn by Muslim women) in Olympic competition. Muhammad, who will compete in the individual and team saber events, is a role model for not just Muslim girls, but all competitors. She says in her USA Fencing bio that she wants to “prove that nothing should hinder anyone from reaching their goals — not race, religion or gender. I want to set an example that anything is possible with perseverance.”
- WNBA player and Olympian Tamkia Catchings was honored during her junior season at the University of Tennessee with the Reynolds Society Achievement Award, presented each year to an individual who has overcome hearing, vision or voice loss and is an inspiration to others.
- Fellow basketball player Brittney Griner led the launch of BG:BU, a mobile app designed to encourage empowerment, strength and creativity for youth in the fight to end bullying.
- Kerri Walsh Jennings could become just the third American to win four gold medals in one event for a team sport. Any medal would make the mother of three the most decorated beach athlete, male or female.
- Jillion Potter suffered a broken neck, then cancer. But she’s back as captain of the U.S. rugby team. “In rugby, one of the biggest things you learn is resilience and persistence and getting knocked down in a tackle and having to get back up and support your teammates and play the game,” she said. “It’s the same in life.”
What I love most is the off-the-field stories. They give great hope to every girl, Olympic hopeful or not!
Be sure to check out my Free Printable for Olympic Athlete Trading Cards and enjoy the games!
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About the Olympics for Kids series
Welcome to our Olympics for Kids series! The Olympics are a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about the world and explore cultures together.
Today, you can find more about Olympic history and famous athletes from various countries around the world.
Judoka: Rafaela Silva – Multicultural Kid Blogs
South Africa’s First Olympians – Globe Trottin’ Kids
Chile: Important Names and Winners – La clase de Sra. DuFault
Female Athletes to Watch in 2016 – Use Resources Wisely
Jefferson Perez: The Only Olympic Medalist in Ecuador – Hispanic Mama
Fastest Man/Woman in the World – Kid World Citizen
Olympisch Stadion in Amsterdam – Expat Life with a Double Buggy
Baron Pierre de Coubertin & the modern Olympics – La Cité des Vents
Don’t forget that you can also download our Summer Games Unit activity pack to learn more about the world and have fun during the Olympics.