For U.S. champion wrestler Henry Cejudo, the road to the 2012 London Olympics was as much for his mom as it was for him. But Cejudo's plans to have his mom watch him in London were thwarted when he fell short; in April 2012, he lost a key match at the semifinals of the U.S. Olympic Trials. In a quick but dramatic moment after losing, he removed his wrestling shoes while still on the mat -- a long-standing tradition that signifies an athlete's retirement -- and then threw them to the cheering crowd.
Photos: Henry Cejudo's road to the 2012 London Olympic Games
The 25-year-old wrestler won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games, but his mom, Nelly Rico, was unable to attend due to citizenship issues. Says the soft-spoken Cejudo: "Here I am, her kid, who she raised for 21 years of their life. I was about to accomplish my dream, and the number one person in my life wasn't there." Cejudo's victory was also one for the history books. At 21, he became the youngest American wrestler to win a
Blog Posts by Charlene Prince Birkeland, Team Mom
For U.S. champion wrestler Henry Cejudo, the road to the 2012 London Olympics was as much for his mom as it was for him. But Cejudo's plans to have his mom watch him in London were thwarted when he fell short; in April 2012, he lost a key match at the semifinals of the U.S. Olympic Trials. In a quick but dramatic moment after losing, he removed his wrestling shoes while still on the mat -- a long-standing tradition that signifies an athlete's retirement -- and then threw them to the cheering crowd.Read More »from Raising an Olympian: Henry Cejudo
Shawn Johnson at P&G U.S. gymnast Shawn Johnson closed the door on her competitive career. She announced her retirement over the weekend, citing problems with her left knee making it difficult for her to train properly for the 2012 London Games.Read More »from U.S. Gymnast Shawn Johnson Retires
"I still have the heart, drive, and desire to compete and help the USA at the London Olympics," Johnson said in a statement issued by USA Gymnastics. Unfortunately, it has become obvious that my left knee is not able to sustain the demands of gymnastics any longer. All I can do now is gracefully retire and thank everyone who has believed in me and my journey."
Johnson, 20, won home gold and silver medals in the 2008 Beijing Games, is a World Artistic Gymnastics champion, and won the mirror ball trophy on season eight of "Dancing with the Stars." She suffered a knee injury in 2010 from a skiing accident, and had been training to earn a spot on Team USA for the 2012 London Games. She details her journey in her autobiography, "Winning Balance," which is set for
- U.S. taekwondo medalist Diana Lopez is a fierce competitor. But if she enters a match with any trepidation, Lopez uses her mom's advice to battle through her fears; she thinks of her opponent as a snake that she needs to destroy. Does it work? We say yes. Lopez won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games and will kick it up in the ring this summer at the 2012 London Games
The opponent as snake metaphor stems from Lopez's mom deep fear of the slithery reptile. Growing up, she couldn't even watch television if a snake were on the screen. Says Ondina Lopez: "One time my son was in the garage and I saw a snake and started to scream. I had to face that snake -- so my son would see I could do it, that I could leave my fears behind." And that story has become a family mantra, a reminder that to compete and fight, you have to face your fears head on.
Photos: Diana Lopez in action
"That's what she always tells us, 'You know what, Diana? I was scared of that snake. Just pretend your opponent Read More »from Raising an Olympian: Diana Lopez
- U.S. Paralympian sprinter Kortney Clemons, it's not only an accurate description; it's inherent to his life because of his mom.The phrase "faith and determination" is often used to describe the force that powers certain individuals to accomplish amazing feats. For
"My mom, she told us that everyday you get another opportunity to make your life better. Some days, you may not get as far as you would like to but you learn from those days and you continue to use that to go through life."
Clemons will be participating in the 2012 Paralymics Competition, competing in the 100 meter, 200 meter, and long jump. And his journey to the Paralympics began in 2005. After attending a community college, Clemons served as a combat medic in the U.S. Army: "I really saw her [my mom] every day, put our needs before her own, so me joining the Army and being a medic, it was just second nature." While stationed in Iraq in 2005, Clemons was conducting a routine patrol and came across a truck that had Read More »from Raising an Olympian: Kortney Clemons
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Team Mom | Team Mom – Wed, May 23, 2012 4:32 PM EDT
soccer player extraordinaire Mia Hamm is as competitive as an athlete can be. Team Mom on Yahoo! Shine recently spoke with her by phone while she was playing in a golf tournament with her college coaches. "We have one more hole and we're in the hunt," said Hamm as she hit pause on our chat to, as she put it, "go knock the snot out of the ball." It made us love her even more.U.S. gold medalist and Read More »from Team Mom Pep Talk with Mia Hamm: Snack Ideas from the Ultimate Soccer Mom
VIDEO: Raising an Olympian: Kerri Walsh-Jennings
Knowing how much Hamm likes to win, it's hard to imagine that growing up, she was a quitter. She told Team Mom: "For me, I was naturally competitive and it was more so about staying committed because I didn't like losing. When my team would fall behind, I would quit." Hamm even wrote a children's book, "Winner's Never Quit!", which tells the story of a young girl named Mia, who plays soccer and quits before she could lose a game. Hamm's parents taught her the value of working through -- and learning from -- the tough patches of competitive
- was his first swim coach. And she knew that forcing him to swim would only cause him to quit.World champion swimmer Ryan Lochte readily admits that, as a kid, he liked to goof around. In fact, the three-time gold medalist made an effort to get kicked out of swim practice...every day. The only problem? Lochte's mom
Related: When is it okay for your kids to quit a sport?
Ileana Lochte recalls watching a young Ryan, about four or five years old, at his first swim meet. He raced and beat out kids who were several years older than he. Shortly after, mom -- and coach -- would see him "playing around," and want to tell her son to focus on his swimming. She held back. "I couldn't be the one to push my kids to hate the sport," says Ileana Lochte. "They had to like it. So I do have to bite my tongue a lot. I can't show that competitiveness."
Mom's strategy worked. Ryan Lochte has six Olympic medals and currently holds several world records for his speed in the water. The swimmer, who appearsRead More »from Raising an Olympian: Ryan Lochte
- Kerri Walsh-Jennings sets foot in the sand, she's playing to win. It's just one of many life lessons instilled in her by mom, who inspires Walsh-Jennings every day -- on and off the volleyball court.When U.S. beach volleyball player
"My mom, to me, is a force of nature," says Walsh-Jennings. "I take her with me when I go play. I want her heart. I want her tenacity, and I want her commitment to win at all cost. And I think I have that."
Photos: Kerri Walsh goes for gold
The 33-year-old athlete and mom of two has two gold medals in beach volleyball with her partner, Misty May-Treanor, from wins during the 2004 Athens Games and 2008 Beijing Games. Right now, she's living and breathing gold as she eyes the 2012 London Games. And Walsh-Jennings firmly believes it's because of her mom. "I don't think I'd be an Olympian without my mom. Her toughness is in her relentlessness," she says in the video, wiping tears from her eyes.
Walsh-Jennings' mom, Margie Walsh, says that she raised her Read More »from Raising an Olympian: Kerri Walsh-Jennings
- Shawn Johnson is once again going for gold. And just like her previous attempts to achieve success in her sport, she knows that win or lose, there is one person who will always be cheering her on: her mom.U.S. gymnast
In the Procter & Gamble original video series, "Raising an Olympian," Johnson talks about how her mom, Teri, provided her with constant motivation in her pursuit of a gold medal. "My mom taught me from when I was little that you have to have a balance in life. If there's some thing that you're dedicated to, that you have to enjoy it," says the 20-year-old athlete, who took home gold and silver medals in the 2008 Beijing Games, is a World Artistic Gymnastics champion, and won the mirror ball trophy on season eight of "Dancing with the Stars."
Photo Gallery: Shawn Johnson through the years
Instead of aggressively pushing her daughter to compete, Johnson's mom focused more on making sure her daughter was -- first and foremost -- happy. "If you can rely on somebody who's Read More »from Raising an Olympian: Shawn Johnson
Say what?It's no secret that parents should pay attention to how they communicate with their children. Even tiger moms and parents following the French style of raising children could agree that what we say to our kids -- and how we say it -- matters. Tiger moms and French parents get the results they want largely because of what they say. But besides using words to get kids to do what they want, how moms and dads communicate with their kids directly impacts the parent-child relationship long term. And it's the simple statements parents make, usually in a moment of frustration with their young children, which can cause the most damage later on.Read More »from 5 Things Parents Shouldn't Say to Their Kids
Related: 8 things you should never say to a mom
"Words hurt and they can't be taken back, so be careful" says Debbie Pincus, a therapist, parenting coach and author of "The Calm Parent: AM & PM." Team Mom on Shine asked Pincus and other parenting experts about the most common phrases that moms and dads say to young kids in the midst of parental panic.
Scores the winning run! Oh my, the dirt!It's a proud moment as parents watch their kids take the field in their crisp, clean uniforms during Little League season. Baseballs are hit, bases stolen, and runs scored. And then parental pride turns to wonder, as in: "How are we ever going to get those grass and dirt stains out of that uniform?" With youth baseball pants ranging in price from $15-$50, mom and dad have good reason to want to preserve those uniforms for a full season.
Related: Little-known baseball facts to impress the kids
Nate Alleyne, the clubhouse manager for the San Jose Giants, spends more than 300 hours a season doing laundry for the minor league team of the San Francisco Giants. He also tackles the wash for the visiting teams -- and the umpires -- and sees a cacophony of colorful stains that include dirt, clay and blood. "The toughest stains are grass stains. When the players slide on the grass, it's the worst. You'd think it's the darker clay and dirt, but those stains come out easier than grass stains,"Read More »from Get Stains Out of Sports Uniforms like a Pro