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Picabo Street: 'You Can't Bully Somebody Into Being Successful'

Photo by Jon Williams

When it comes to sports, Olympic gold medal winner Picabo Street has seen action from both the slopes and the sidelines. In addition to being a highly decorated alpine skier, she's also a sports parent.

And while she wants to encourage her four boys on the field, she doesn't want to be *that* parent.

That's why Street has teamed up with Liberty Mutual Insurance's Responsible Sports program, which promotes supportive athletic environments.

In honor of National Bullying Prevention Month, we talked to Street about aggressive coaches and parents. She shares what her boys think of her medals and chats about her new gig as a Fox Sports 1 commentator for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

What's been your experience with bullying coaches and aggressive parents?

My experience with the whole sideline behavior is new, because in ski racing, there isn't a whole lot of it, so I was really kind of appalled and surprised at some of the irresponsible behavior that's gone on. You see these parents out there during the games, yelling obscenities and hollering at the refs and hollering at the coaches, and yelling at some of the kids from the other teams and even their own child. You can't bully somebody into being successful.

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You have sons who play sports. What's it like to be a mom on the sidelines?

I can honestly relate to some of those parents. They have the big picture in mind, and they're thinking, "There are scholarships, there are all of these opportunities," not to mention just the competitiveness that I have in me. I want them to do well and win. But there's been a really easy transition for me to make to being a responsible parent on the sidelines and keeping my priority list in order and acting appropriately. And I think watching some of the parents act inappropriately has really put a bad taste in my mouth.

What do your kids think of your Olympic medals?

They're young. They're 10, 9, 4 and 2. The little guys don't care; they're just these cool necklaces mom wears. The older two are starting to get a clue, especially my 10-year-old. We watch the Olympics together, and he sees the stories about how hard the athletes train and how much their families are involved. But I'm definitely not putting any pressure on them to follow in my footsteps.

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What are you looking forward to most in Sochi?

Just being there, because the Olympic Games are so amazing and it's such an honor to be there. And to be an Olympian going back, that's really going to be special. I'm looking forward to watching the skiing, because personally that's close to my heart.

Are you taking your boys with you?

I'm not. I'm leaving them at home, so we'll be Face-Timing and Skype-ing a lot.

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