Have you ever held an Olympic medal? I haven’t….but my 5 year old daughter has.
Growing up in Vermont, there were a lot of Winter Olympians floating around. The guy who was a fixture at the ski area, the girl who’d gone to private school in the area, your friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s cousin. Everyone had a story about somebody who was either going, or had been, to the Olympics. There was never a shortage of “Hometown Hero” stories on the local news.
Georgia, while full of summer Olympians, is pretty lean on winter athletes. In fact, this year there was only one Georgian in the Vancouver Games. And she’s from Douglasville.
Elana Meyers was well on her way to becoming an Olympic Softball player when….well…they announced that they were taking softball out of the Olympics. In 2007, she made the move to pushing bobsled. Three years later she had an Olympic Bronze Medal.
Last weekend, Meyers made an appearance at our local mall. Amelia was PSYCHED. This year she was so into the Olympics and she probably would have been excited to meet any Olympian. The fact that this woman was from her hometown was icing on the cake.
We got there early because we weren’t sure if there would be a crowd. They were still setting up and it was actually really quiet. After the photo ops and handshaking with local government officials and bigwigs, Meyers sat down and started greeting people. After a few minutes of coaching not to be shy, Amelia walked up to the table and smiled. Elana was very sweet and asked Amelia her name and where she went to school. Then she asked Amelia if she wanted to see the medal. During the Olympics, Amelia & I had talked about the medals and wondered how heavy they were, so I knew that she was thrilled to see one in real life. After a few seconds of politely looking at the medal, Elana told Amelia that she could touch it if she wanted. Amelia gingerly touched the medal with one finger. I thought that it would be a neat moment to photograph. After I took the picture, Elana leaned forward and asked “Do you want to hold it? You can.”
We took a few more pictures and thanked Elana. It was a quick meeting, but hopefully it will be a memory that Amelia carries for the rest of her life (until she wins her own Olympic medal hehehe).
As we were walking away, Amelia looked up at me and said “That was really fun mommy. Thank you for bringing me” (Awwwww). Then she said “Mommy…I know that you didn’t get to hold the medal….but it was really heavy.” *Smile*