I’ve written before about the pride we aunts take in our nieces and nephews, and the 10 days I spent in Oregon at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials brought out a number of proud aunts to cheer on their family’s elite athletes. Today, I’ll share three “good aunt” stories with you from the competition.
Proud aunts follow through on a father’s inspiration
Early into the trials, I saw an article in the The Register-Guard talking about Amanda Smock, an expert in the women’s triple jump. She competed in the 2008 trials, but finished 5th and didn’t get to go to the Olympics that year.
After those trials, her father encouraged her to keep pursuing her dream, though he didn’t live to see her succeed. He died from cancer a year later, but four of Smock’s aunts (her father’s sisters) made the long drive from Minnesota to the trials to surprise her and cheer her on.
Smock finished first in the trials, and because of qualifying requirements to compete in the Olympics, she’ll be the only athlete to represent the United States in her event. Of winning and what it meant to have her four aunts watching from the stands, she said: Continue reading