Story after story has been told of mothers and fathers being behind their kids 110% of the way; of brothers and sisters encouraging, supporting and challenging their siblings to bring out their best; even of aunts and uncles who sacrificed to bring these athletes to where they are today.
It's amazing the difference that your home team can make.
This brings to mind something I read in the book Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist. She wrote:
"Everybody has a home team: It’s the people you call when you get a flat tire or when something terrible happens. It’s the people who, near or far, know everything that’s wrong with you and love you anyways. These are the ones who tell you their secrets, who get themselves a glass of water without asking when they’re at your house. These are the people who cry when you cry. These are your people, your middle-of-the-night, no-matter-what people."
I know in my own life I wouldn't be where I am today without my home team. Some of these members are family, like my mom who would get up at 6 am on Sunday to bring me to hockey. Others are friends and others still are employers, teachers, coaches and neighbours and each one of them have made a contribution to my life that has been invaluable to me.
Some of my home team members have changed over the years, others have been there from day one, but they've each brought their own unique contribution in encouraging me, inspiring me, and supporting me. And I desire to bring the same to them. To be as Shauna put it "a middle-of-the night, no-matter-what person".
That's not a role only reserved for Mom's and Dad's of olympians, that's a role that we each can take on to bring out the best in those around us.