Olympic athletes have a lot of pressure on them. They've trained for four or more years in preparation for just a few days of competition. Add to that equation kids and a worried spouse, and we imagine the pressure is amplified. But that's not the case, according to Sochi-bound U.S. athletes with devoted families.
"It has been very focusing," says four-time Olympian, nordic combined skier Billy Demong. Skeleton Olympian competitor Noelle Pikus-Pace says, "I have had to figure out how to be a mom and an Olympic athlete."
But they both seem to agree that despite all preconceptions, having kids has made them better athletes. Not only have their time management skills become more refined, but now, they've also got someone special to win for. "It ups the enjoyment level to have a child who can experience what you do," Demong said. For Pikus-Pace, having her kids watching her helps her "remember her priorities," according to Deseret News.
Ultimately, both athletes agreed that above all, they are parents over Olympians. "Really, for me, it’s sort of taken the pressure off," Demong said. “I don’t have to define myself by winning or losing. I’m a father and a husband first and foremost." (But we're sure winning is a nice cherry on top of it!)
With such a strong support system built in, we can't help but wonder why more Olympic athletes aren't parents: Of the 230 going to the games this year, only 22 are parents—and only three of those are moms.
Sure, we understand that it can be taxing on a family, with all the travel and training, but from the way these two athletes make it sound, we can't help but think that more Olympians should start families, stat!
What do you think—does having a family and kids make you more motivated and determined?