Every-Day Olympians: Surrender & Sacrifice, Part 1

Feb 17, 2014 by

Goepper skiing

The Story:

If you follow this blog, you know we started a series on how to Raise an Every-Day Olympian. We covered an overview and have decided to follow up with more specifics. We based this off a recent program on How To Raise An Olympian that had many great principles about not just raising athletes, let alone Olympic athletes, but basic values and strategies to raise quality character children who become Every-Day Olympians — making a positive difference and adding value to society.

What does it take? There are a couple of things that come to mind, surrender and sacrifice. But this is not true only of the child, but rather the entire family, specifically the parents.

We have our children to raise and release them, not live with us for the rest of our days. We are to set them up for wins and help them grow into fully functioning adults making a positive difference in society and live their own legacy of significance.

His name is Nick Goepper. His sport is Free Style Skiing. Something rather unique is that Nick is from Southeastern Indiana. Yes that is correct, Indiana. Not the place of skiing champions to hang out let alone grow up, but that did not stop Nick.

Nick had a dream, a passion, which could not be quenched. But it wasn’t quenching that his parents wanted to do, rather they wanted to fuel this passion and do what it takes to help him win.

nick-goepper w.momNick made it to the Sochi Olympics because of parents who were willing to surrender some of their own desires, develop priorities, and sacrifice both resources and time to make Nick an Olympian. When finances were tight (Nick’s dad lost his job and was unemployed for 2 years) Nick’s mom says, “We had to decide if we would tell him it probably wasn’t reasonable to have such high goals or allow him to believe his dreams were possible. We chose the latter.” His dad stated, “His mother and I always try to live that if you believe in something strong enough you will find a way to do it.” Nick’s father goes on to say, “When we saw that Nick actually did have the talent, it was our role to help Nick leverage that talent. How could we help him?”

Nick’s parents helped fuel his passion and provide opportunities for him to succeed. They taught him, and modeled for him, a good work ethic and willing to do whatever jobs he could to earn money for equipment. They taught and modeled toughness and tenacity of commitment to realize a goal. When he received opportunity to relocate out West, his mom said, “Many people asked, ‘How could you let him go?’ She responded with, ‘How could we not let him go?”

One of the last scenes in this segment has Nick’s mom commenting very matter of factly, “We tried to simply be very encouraging and provide opportunities. Nick had the passion and the drive.”

How does this fit for us as every-day parents? What lessons do we learn? On Thursday we will look at a couple of takeaways to apply to our own parenting.

~ Jim and Jerolyn

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