The Homemade Sign That Melted Hearts At The Olympics
When I see an Olympic athlete, hand over heart, standing at attention while the national anthem of their country is played I see more than a single person. As a parent of two non-Olympic athletes, I know how many times I hauled kids back and forth to soccer, baseball, volleyball, dancing, and probably a few other practices and games. I can only imagine the dedication of Olympic parents.
During yesterday's Olympic Women's Half Pipe Chloe Kim of the United States simply blew the competition away. She won the event on her first of three runs. Then on her third run, she put on a clinic. Yet my biggest takeaway from the event wasn't about what happened on the slopes. It was what I saw on the sidelines.
I obviously wasn't the only one that was moved by this very genuine and very Dad-like gesture.
A proud father holding a homemade sign showing love and support for his daughter, that was what made this event special for me and more than a few others who appreciate the athlete and the sacrifice of the athlete's family.
A simple laminated piece of posterboard with the words GO Chloe! and a hand-drawn heart. To me, that's better than any jumbotron, big screen, oversized computer animation anywhere.
Jong Jin Kim held that sign high so his daughter would know that while she was on the course by herself, she did not ski alone. I think that is pretty special. But then again, I think showing loving support for your kids is the best part of being a parent.
Here's to our Olympic athletes, whether they slide or ski or skate or do one of those sports where they shoot a gun or sweep with a broom every one of those athletes has a figure like Jong Jin Kim in their past and hopefully still in their present to share the moment.
Thank you, Mr. Kim, your love for your child has reminded us that all children, no matter what age, no matter what their dreams happen to be, need a genuine cheerleader, homemade sign and all.