A Day at the Winter Olympics: Part 2
Silver medalist Speedy Peterson and his mama, plus a night out in Vancouver
-April Daniels Hussar
After the P&G closing party, I had just enough time to grab a snack and head back to my room for a little nap. I hate to spend time sleeping here– if I could I’d stay awake every minute I’m in Vancouver; there’s so much to see and do! But, alas, my jet-lagged batteries need recharging, so a quick nap it is before heading back over to the P&G Family Home, where freestyle aerialist Jeret “Speedy” Peterson has been reunited with his mom (abovem right) and the rest of his family after winning a silver medal. Speedy indeed!
I had a little chat with Speedy’s mom, Linda Peterson, who is so sweet and proud of her son (and her daughter too, she told me). Despite my protests, Mrs. Peterson settles me into the one available chair and she perches cozily on the plush rug. I want to insist we trade places, but I find myself powerless not to do what I’m so kindly told to do. She used her super Olympic mommy power on me!
“Oh my goodness. I don’t know that there are really any words,” she says, when I ask her what it was like to be here at the Winter Olympics with her medalist son.
I ask Mrs. Peterson how she felt when Speedy first started doing ski jumping, and she says she at first had no idea what he was up to! She thought he was just simply skiing – little did she know he was learning how to fly. “It wasn’t even in my realm of reality,” she laughed. “I didn’t know about moguls, and jumping, I thought you just went down the hill. So I had quite the education.”
I find myself showing her photos on my iPhone of my own little girl and, as a mom, I can’t help but ask Mrs. Peterson what she’s thinking as she watches her son flying through the air, twisting and flipping at that incredible speed. “He’s done it so long, you kind of get used to it. At first you think oh my gosh. Your mind just kind of stops until he lands. You don’t know what you just watched! But now, I trust him. I trust his judgment. And I trust the decisions that he makes, so I don’t worry about it a whole lot.”
Mrs. Peterson gives me some great parenting advice – she tells me that she had always tried her best to follow some words of wisdom she herself had been told as a young mother: to let her children, once they weren’t little kids anymore, have the space to make mistakes, to learn how to trust themselves and eventually be self confident enough to make smart choices. “The one thing that I’ve learned is to let your child pick what they want to do, not what you want them to do,” she says. “Kids are like little radars; they’re incredibly intelligent.”
Right about this point, a young man comes up to her to tell her she has the greatest son in the world, and she gives him a hug.
I’d have to say, it seems like Speedy has one of the greatest moms in the world.
And now … time to explore the city at night!