Archive for the "Olympics" Category

A Look At 5 Winter Olympic Parents

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With the Sochi Winter Games commencing on February 6th, we’re getting into the Olympic spirit.

We’re taking a look at 5 past and present winter Olympic parents, including hockey stars Mike Smith and Jenny Schmidgall-Potter, and controversial figure skater Tonya Harding.

  • Mike Smith:

Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith is headed to Sochi to represent his home country, Canada. But the hockey star, 31, will not be bringing his young family due to the recent threats and terrorist attacks in the region.

“Me having two young kids, my wife’s also expecting number three, they’re not going to go. It’s not worth it,” the NHL star told CBC. “It’s not worth it for myself, thinking about is she okay whenever I’m not with her. It’s something that’s unfortunate but that’s just how it is.”

Mike’s wife is fellow Olympian, Canadian Alpine skier Brigitte Acton.

  • Scott Hamilton:

Father of sons Aidan, 10, and Maxx, 6, former Olympian Scott Hamilton will be in Sochi as a figure skating analyst for NBC. The 1984 champ, 55, makes light of his “unique hobby of collecting life-threatening illnesses,” including testicular cancer and a recurrent benign brain tumor.

“I left home at 13. I have two sons,” Scott told Parade. “I’m not capable of letting them leave because I feel like I missed that time with my parents. My mother died when I was 19. It’s like, ‘No, I’m not going to sacrifice that time.’”

  • Kristi Yamaguchi:

Also a Dancing with the Stars champ, Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi is now raising two daughters - Keara, 10, and Emma, 8 - with husband and former Olympic hockey player Bret Hedican. She will be in Sochi as the U.S. Olympic committee’s digital ambassador.

“I am very excited about the upcoming Olympics in Sochi,” Kristi told Celebrity Baby Scoop in August. “I don’t think my children will go, because it is such a far trip to take during the school year.”

On the controversy surrounding the Winter Games in Russia, Kristi said: “When I think of the Olympics, I think of everyone coming together in peace and competing in goodwill and good sport. I hope that everyone is able to do that as well. It’s all about these amazing athletes who have worked their entire lives to showcase their dreams. I’ll be cheering for all the athletes!”

  • Tonya Harding:

Former Olympian Tonya Harding was involved in one of the most shocking winter sport scandals of all time.

Two decades ago, her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly hired a man to break Nancy’s leg making it impossible for her compete against Tonya in the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit.

“I don’t care,” Tonya recently told Access Hollywood when asked if she’s bothered by the public’s opinion of her. “Everybody is entitled to their opinion; it was 20 years ago. [Gillooly and I] both have gone our separate ways. Get over it, okay? Its 20 years. I’m sure that she’s done and I am, too.”

On her life now, Tonya says she’s loving being a “mommy.”

“I’m married and I have a son… I wasn’t supposed to have children, so my son is my miracle… I love being a mommy and I like to do landscaping in the summertime, and then I kind of do these fire starters where I dip pinecones in scented wax,” she shared.

  • Jenny Schmidgall-Potter:

Gold medal Olympic hockey player, Jenny Schmidgall-Potter, is proud mom to daughter Maddy, 12, and son Cullen, 6. The 35-year-old hockey star opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about how her family keeps her grounded.

“I don’t really have a mantra but I do believe in hard work,” Jenny said. “I think being the best you can be and trying to be one of the best players in the world keeps me focused and that my family is there is share it with me.”

 

Paralympians Rob & Danelle Umstead: “People With Disabilities Can Do Amazing Things”

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Alpine skiers and Paralympians, Rob & Danelle Umstead, are gearing up for the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The first competitions of the Sochi Winter Games on NBC starts February 6th, and runs through February 23rd. The Paralympics are two weeks later in Sochi, running from March 7th to 16th.

The husband-wife duo opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about preparing for the Paralympics. Legally blind, Danelle skis to the sound of her husband’s guiding voice. The couple open up about their trust – on and off the course – stating that “none of the competition has the bond that we have.” Continue reading about their 6-year-old son Brocton and how they teach him that “people with disabilities can do amazing things.”

CBS: Tell us about your rigorous training schedule that has prepared you both for the upcoming Olympic Games.

R&D: “In the past year, we have trained in Utah, Colorado and Oregon and raced in Italy, Russia, Australia, New Zealand Canada and the United States. It’s a lot of travel but it allows us to train in different snow conditions and environments.

When at home (we live/train in Colorado and Utah), we spend approximately 12 hours a week in the gym and another 10 hours working out outdoors on a bike or doing other dry land activities. We have been working hard to be as fit as possible when we get to the Paralympics.”

CBS: Together, you both are team Vision4Gold. How did you two meet each other? How do you help each other during training and competitions?

R&D: “We actually met Après Ski in Taos, New Mexico. We were both living there and met one afternoon by chance while hanging out with friends. Little did we know it would all lead to a career as a ski racing team.

Being a married couple and racing together helps us most when the going gets tough. When it comes to trusting your guide to get you safely through a difficult race course, none of the competition has the bond that we have. Our communication and trust helps us in sport and in our daily lives. We feel blessed to have such a strong loving happy relationship.”

CBS: What else do you two like doing together in your free time?

R&D: “We love to spend time with our son. We go camping, paddle surfing and Rob loves to kite board.”

CBS: What is your best tip for maintaining a healthy marriage amidst training and everything else you have going on?

R&D: “Having common goals and working together to achieve them makes for a great relationship. Communication is key both on the slopes and off. The goals need to be discussed so that both of us our on the same page. Once that is clear, then working together to get there is easier.”

CBS: Could you tell us about your son, Brocton? How old is he and what does he like to do for fun?

R&D: “Our son is six now. He is in kindergarten and loves it. He enjoys building LEGOs, skiing, baseball and soccer. He makes us laugh every day and is such an incredible boy. He makes life easy.”

CBS: How do you both manage your busy ski careers and raising a son?

R&D: “That is one of the most difficult pieces of the puzzle for us. We need to be on the road quite a bit and he needs to be in school now. We have great support from our families. The grandparents and aunts and uncles all have pitched in to help us take care of his needs. This season we have hired a long time babysitter (five years) and friend Morgan to nanny at our house for the winter. This allows us to travel, race and train while knowing that he is happy, well cared for, and able to stay in school. Peace of mind.”

CBS: Will your son be cheering you both on in Sochi this winter? If so, what does it mean for you to have him there?

R&D: “Brocton will not be traveling to Sochi this winter. We decided that it is not the best place for him to be while we are focused on racing. Racing in five events, we would not have much time to see him anyway and knowing he is safe at home will be one less distraction for us as we prepare to compete.

This Paralympic Winter Games, he will have opportunity to watch the Games thanks to NBC. We know he and Morgan will be watching and cheering us on from home.”

CBS: What values do you hope to pass on to your son?

R&D: “Never give up, work hard for what you want – no matter what life throws at you. Believe in yourself.

Hard work leads to success — people with disabilities can do amazing things and do what you love. He is already cued into all these things.”

CBS: Are you planning to train and compete in the following winter Paralympics as well?

R&D: “We’re focused on Sochi right now.”

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Halfpiper David Wise: “Anything Is Possible With Perseverance”

2014 Winter Olympic Games - Season 2014

Freestyle skiing champion and family man David Wise is gearing up for the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The first competitions of the Sochi Winter Games on NBC starts February 6th, and runs through February 23rd.

The halfpiper, 23, opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about preparing for the Olympics and some of the greatest lessons he’s learned from training. He goes on to talk about wife Alexandra, their 2-year-old daughter Nayeli, and some of his favorite bonding moments with his baby girl.

CBS: How are you preparing for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi? What is your training schedule like?

DW: “My training right now is a balance of preparing for the Olympic qualifiers on skis, maintaining my strength in the gym, and spending a lot of time visualizing and thinking up new runs and combinations.”

CBS: What is your favorite part about freeskiing in the halfpipe?

DW: “I’ve loved skiing for as long as I can remember, it is fast and free, but what I like about halfpipe in particular is the weightless feeling you experience. Only in a halfpipe can you go straight up in the air, stall, and then come down and land on the same surface that you took off on. That moment, at the apex, is true weightlessness, and for a moment it feels like time stops.”

CBS: Could you tell us about your daughter Nayeli? How old is she and what does she like doing for fun?

DW: “My daughter Nayeli just turned two in October. Jumping on the trampoline is her all time favorite thing to do, but watching movies and family dance parties are close behind.”

CBS: What are some of the highlights of being a dad? Could you share any special memories?

DW: “Being a dad is an amazing experience. It is an equal share of intimidating responsibility, and overwhelming reward. I honestly didn’t know how much love I was capable of till I held my daughter for the first time.

Like any parent I am really proud of all of my daughter’s “firsts.” Her first word (which was ‘dadda’ of course), her first steps, her first phrase (‘oh my goodness’), her first time jumping on the trampoline, and recently her first time on skis, they are all experiences that I will never forget.”

CBS: Does Nayeli like skiing like her daddy? How do you bond with your daughter?

DW: “My wife Alexandra and I have taken Nayeli skiing a couple of times now, and she loves it. They are there at the bottom of a lot of my competitions, and every time Nayeli tells me that wants to go skiing. I love doing activities with my little girl, but reading her books before bedtime is still my favorite way to bond with her.”

CBS: Will Nayeli be cheering you on in Sochi this winter? If so, what does it mean for you to have her there?

DW: “Nayeli will be cheering me on, but it will be from the living room with her grandma. We decided that getting a two-year-old all the way over to Russia for three days just to take her home would be a huge hassle. My wife, my parents, my sisters, and some of my close friends are going to be there, and I know that Nayeli will be screaming, “Go DavvvviiiWwiiizzze” (what she says every time she sees a skier, whether it’s me or not) at the TV.”

CBS: What are some of the values and lessons you’ve learned from your Olympic training that you hope to teach your daughter?

DW: “My skiing career has taught me that anything is possible with perseverance. I was never the most talented at anything growing up, but I had an obsession with improving. I strive to get better every day, even if it is just a little. That mentality has brought me a long way, and I hope it is something that Nayeli learns in her life as well.”

CBS: You and your wife also lead a church youth group. How do you balance everything?

DW: “Helping out with the youth group is definitely something that my wife and I are passionate about, but we spend a lot of time on the road. Fortunately, we have some great fellow leaders that run the youth group while we are away.”

CBS: Are you planning to train and compete in the following winter Olympics as well?

DW: “I have always told myself that I will keep doing this for as long as I truly love it. Right now I am enjoying every minute of this ride, and I don’t foresee myself getting burned out in four years; so hopefully yes.”

View Slideshow »» 2014 Winter Olympic Games - Season 2014 2014 Winter Olympic Games - Season 2014 2014 Winter Olympic Games - Season 2014 2014 Winter Olympic Games - Season 2014 20130216_Sochi-Ski-Pipe_114-M Halfpipe competition at 2011 Nationals 4-L

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Billy Demong: Sochi Will Be My Fifth & Final Olympic Games

2014 Winter Olympic Games - Season 2014

Nordic combined skiing champion Billy Demong is gearing up for his fifth and final Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The first competitions of the Sochi Winter Games on NBC starts February 6th, and runs through February 23rd.

The Olympic athlete, 33, opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about balancing his skiing career and fatherhood. He goes on to talk about his 3-year-old son Liam who will be cheering him on in Sochi, and teaching his preschooler to ski by trying “to be patient and make a game out of it.”

CBS: Tell us about your rigorous training schedule that has prepared you for the upcoming Olympic Games.

BD: “I train twice daily. Earlier in the year, the focus is on a strong foundation through heavy strength and long endurance workouts: running, cycling or skiing for 3-5 hours. In these final months, the volume decreases and the quality becomes very important.

I’ll often train only once a day but with harder efforts, or instead of heavy weights, I’ll do some explosive plyometrics. Everything from here on out is about reaching the highest peak from solid foundation that I’ve built through the last summer and fall.”

CBS: How do you manage your Nordic Combined Skiing career and fatherhood?

BD: “Fatherhood has made me much better with time management. I have to schedule my days together with my wife, and so I often tweak my workouts to fit into our families’ schedule. I’ll often get out the door much earlier in order to get it done before I need to pick him up from pre-school, and I’ll often plan a fun activity with him in the afternoon instead of doing as much recovery. But a good hour at the playground is just as good as a short jog anyway!

It’s really about striking a balance and prioritizing. I have far less time to do everything, so it focuses me on what is important and helped enjoy my training time even more.”

CBS: Tell us about your son. How old is he and what is he into?

BD: “Liam is going to be three on January 12, and he’s starting to get really into skiing and sledding and being outside in the winter. He is also a huge Thomas fan and spends a lot of time playing with his train table.”

CBS: How do you bond with your son? It sounds like he enjoys skiing with daddy.

BD: “I don’t want to rush him into anything and he is the type of kid who is cautious until he is comfortable with something. These last couple times we’ve gone skiing, it’s been about riding the magic carpet, getting comfortable, and having fun even if that means he decides to take his skiis off or fall over on purpose 20 times.

I try to be patient and make a game out of it. Just this morning we skied down a pretty long green run without and falls and I cut him off while he still wanted more.”

CBS: Will your son be cheering you on in Sochi this winter? If so, what does it mean for you to have him there?

BD: “My wife and son are planning on going to Sochi and it will certainly be amazing to have them there. I hope that it is an experience he can potentially have as one of his earliest memories.”

CBS: What are some of the values/lessons you’ve learned from your Olympic training experience that you hope to teach your child?

BD: “That talent and training meet down the road. What that means is that those that work hard will eventually surpass those who are naturally gifted with no work ethic. Also that it is important to enjoy what you do, win or lose.

Some of my most powerful experiences have been failures and the lessons within. You have to work hard and love yourself and what you do. No medal can replace the feeling of having accomplished your own goal.”

CBS: Are you planning to train and compete in the following winter Olympics as well?

BD: “Nope! Sochi will be my 5th Olympic Games, and I am looking forward to life after skiing, as well spending more time with my family.”

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Gold Medalist Missy Franklin Gets a Tattoo!

What do you do after winning four gold medals at the Olympics? You get a tattoo, of course! Don’t worry, Missy didn’t run off and get a sleeve tattoo or anything like that. She got a pretty small tattoo of the Olympic rings on her hip, and it actually looks pretty damn sweet. Take a look below…

Not too bad, huh? Her parents even approved of the 17-year-old’s tattoo, “This will be the only one, and she’s earned it” Dick Franklin told TODAY.com.

Missy may have gotten the idea for the tattoo from Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte; they both have very similar Olympic ring tattoos. You would think they would have a little more creative than that. Getting a tattoo of the Olympic rings is just so obvious, you know? They should have asked for a full body Bob Costas tattoo on their back, with a little note underneath saying, “Actual size”

Now that would be a great tattoo.

Bob Costas Missy Franklin Missy Franklin1
 

Bar Refaeli and Shaun White? What the Hay?

Bar Refaeli and the flying tomato? This can’t be, right? Wrong. According to recent reports, Bar Refaeli is sipping hardcore on some tomato soup. The pair was spotted over Memorial Day weekend. The New York Post is reporting that they spent a steamy night together; they were spotted partying together at SoHo lounge Sway last Sunday night.

Witnesses say they were dancing, hugging and kissing ‘til the early morning. “They were all over each other. They were dancing, hugging, kissing — you name it.” an insider told The New York Post. The insider also says that Shaun arrived before Refaeli and was constantly checking his phone, pacing and going outside constantly.

The New York post also claims that Bar and Shaun were spotted taking a bike ride together around Central Park earlier in the week.

Well, isn’t that sweet! We had no idea Shaun White could get a girl like Bar Refaeli. Guess looking like Carrot Top has some advantages! Bar Refaeli and Shaun White? What the Hay? Bar Refaeli and Shaun White? What the Hay? Bar Refaeli and Shaun White? What the Hay? Bar Refaeli and Shaun White? What the Hay?

 

Olympic Hockey Player Jenny Potter: “My Family Keeps Me Grounded”

Three-time Olympian and MVP of the Western Women's Hockey League in 2008-09, Jenny Potter is one Olympic hopeful to watch! With the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games just around the corner, Celebrity Baby Scoop is getting into the spirit and featuring some of our best athletes - who are also proud parents.

Jenny and her husband Rob are parents to daughter Maddy, 8 1/2, and son Cullen, 2 1/2. The 30-year-old hockey player says her family keeps her grounded that she can't wait to hit the ice at the Vancouver Winter Games.

CBS: Please tell us a bit about your background. How did you get started in your given sport?

JP: "I grew as a competitive swimmer, ran cross country and played football (5th-8th grade), when the boys got too big in football I decided I wanted to play hockey. My parents also took us to an outdoor rink almost everyday in the winter, it was about 4 blocks away, and played rink rat hockey."