Raising an Olympian: Jeanette Kwakye




By Kim Hookem-Smith | Yahoo Lifestyle


Jeanette Kwakye is champion British sprinter, in part, because she listened to her mom. Despite her daughter's talent, sensible mom Rose Kwakye insisted she finish her education before she took on running full time.

"I wasn't really keen on her running at the beginning because I advised her all the time that she needed something to fall back on," remembers Kwakye. "I told her to go to secondary school, go to uni [university], get her degree and then she could do what she wants." While her daughter didn't appreciate her mom's tough love, she persevered with both her education and her training. "She was a bit upset because she thought that I didn't want her to do what she wanted to do but when she finished… she said 'I've done what you wanted mum, now mum, can I do what I want?'"

Click for more photos of Jeanette Kwakye.Click for more photos of Jeanette Kwakye.The pair became firm friends, and it was Kwakye who helped her daughter through the aftermath of the serious knee surgery she needed after reaching the 2008 Olympic final in Beijing. "It's hard to talk about Jeannette's injury. It's the last thing you want as a parent for your child to have to go through this pain. It was very heartbreaking for her and for me."

Jeanette Kwakye spent more than two years rehabbing from her injury, and her mom's support was crucial in maintaining her enthusiasm for the sport. "I had to take two or three months off work just to be with her, there to support her emotionally, to protect her," said her mom."I couldn't run for her but I could help her to a speedy recovery. Now we see each other all the time, we're best friends. We sit down and we talk about life. Talk about what she's going through and training and all kind of stuff. It's not mother and daughter anymore, it's pure friendship."

The Procter & Gamble video series, "Raising an Olympian," will run through the London Games and profiles athletes, their dedicated efforts to make it to Olympic games, and the mothers who had tremendous impacts on their lives. Check out Team Mom on Yahoo! Shine all summer for additional "Raising an Olympian" segments.


Also on Shine:
Raising an Olympian: Lolo Jones
Raising an Olympian: Alicia Sacramone
Raising an Olympian: Henry Cejudo
Raising an Olympian: Diana Lopez
Raising an Olympian: Kortney Clemons
Raising an Olympian: Ryan Lochte
Raising an Olympian: Kerri Walsh-Jennings
Raising an Olympian: Shawn Johnson
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