I am very honored to once again partner with Kellogg's, as well as U.S. Olympic legends and athlete hopefuls representing Team USA, as a Champion of #GreatStarts blogger and...yeah, I KNOW!!!...who EVER thought a dork (like me) would EVER be able to say that, out loud.
Last week, I was invited to meet with these awesome athletes in New York City (I know, RIGHT?!?) to help kick-off the 100 day countdown to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and to personally hear each of their great start stories, including that of 1980 U.S. Olympic gold medal hockey team goalie (and my teenage crush) Jim Craig.
After bumping into him and nearly breaking his foot, I mean.
Most folks will remember the 1980 Winter Olympic games in Lake Placid, NY as the venue for what Sports Illustrated voted as "the greatest sports moment in the 20th century": the U.S. Hockey team defeating the Soviet Union, 4 to 3.
At the time, the Russians held the record as world champions in ALL the things: so, the possibility of our winning over the Soviet Union was considered to be nothing if not "a miracle". We were also deep into the Cold War, so the relationship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union wasn't a very good one.
As the first generation to be born here in America, with both my parents having immigrated to the U.S. from Hungary in 1956: the tension in our living room was also at an all time high, especially during the 1980 Olympic games.
What most folks don't realize (or remember, including myself): the U.S. still had to defeat Finland in the final to win the gold medal.
This was no miracle, these guys played their hearts out on that ice: I still get goosebumps thinking back on those final seconds of the final game and then watching Jim Craig (goalie for the U.S. team) skate around the rink, the American flag held high above his head.
The opportunity to actually meet Jim Craig (goalie for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Gold Medal Hockey Team and my teen idol) ranks up there as a once-in-a-lifetime moment: my friends at Kellogg's heard about my HUGE crush on Jim and were all like..."Heyyyyyy Lizzzzz…looky who I found here!"...so I turned around and bumped right into the man, which he agreed was the best segway to an interview...EVER!!!
I asked Jim his thoughts (yes, we're on a first name basis, having bumped elbows and stuff) about working, along with figure skating legend Kristi Yamaguchi, as co-captain on Team Kellogg's: now a father of two hockey players, Jim is having a blast mentoring "these kids" and helping them to achieve their olympic dreams.
I then shared a little about the story behind This Full House (hey, he asked!): how my husband, Garth (not his real name) and I hope our kids will one day appreciate growing up in such close quarters, without killing each other.
Jim said he "totally gets that", because he is also one of eight kids...enough said.
My OTHER favorite part of this event was meeting the rest of 2014 Team Kellogg's Athletes and personally introducing their great start stories:
Torin Yater-Wallace – Freeskiing (new for 2014) seated on left in pic above.
Sarah Hendrickson – Ski Jumping (new for 2014, too!) seated next to Torin.
Noelle Pikus-Pace - Skeleton, seated next to Kristi Yamaguchi.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White – Figure Skating, Ice Dancing; Meryl is seated and Charlie is standing next to Noelle.
Gretchen Bleiler - Snowboard, Halfpipe
Ted Ligety – Alpine Skiing
Heath Calhoun – Alpine Skiing
Amy Purdy - Snowboard, Cross
I have to warn you, prepare yourselves for nothing less than awesome: each of their stories is unique and very special. They will make you laugh, cry and totally appreciate the commitment AND the sacrifices these athletes make, each and every day, to be able to achieve their Olympic dreams.
My twin brother is full-time Army, so Heath Calhoun's story really resonated with me, along with his saying "Self-doubt is a much greater disability than a guy missing both his legs"...I mean, WOW!!!...check it out:
Here's the REALLY great part: by the simple act of learning more and sharing information about the #GreatStarts program, you and I just helped to share breakfast with someone in need.
THANK YOU for that!!!
Aaaaaand, here's the REALLY, REALLY great part:
"Every time you press the “Like” button. Every share. Every comment. Every tweet. Every retweet. Every pin. Every time you watch our videos. It counts. It's a breakfast and it's one more great start we can share with someone in need." ~ http://www.kelloggs.com/en_US/teamusa.html
Our goal is to provide 2 million meals to kids in need: enough said!!!
Aaaaaand, my family and I are totally committed to help: we're looking forward to sharing even more information about this fabulous program over the next couple of months, because we roll like that :)
Disclosure: As a Champion of #GreatStarts blogger, I am honored to partner with Kellogg's in helping families (like mine) achieve great starts to their days. I am being compensated for my services for the length of the program. As always, the words and opinions expressed here are mine.