interview with gymnast Jordyn Wieber’s mom

Have you been watching the Olympics trials? Gymnastics has always been my favorite Olympic sport to watch, and I’ve been riveted by Jordyn Wieber, who seems to be the US front-runner in the sport. 

Last week, I had a chance to interview Rita Wieber, Jordyn’s mom. I was really curious to ask about her decision-making process as a mom, because it’s something I’m always second-guessing.  I love the idea of helping my kids follow their passions, but I’m never quite sure about how to find the balance between helping them excel at something they like vs. pushing them too far. I’m also often wondering how to discern what activities we do because my kids love them, as opposed to choosing activities that I want them to like.  I really appreciated Rita answering these questions from her own experience.

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How are you feeling about the upcoming Olympic Games? Do you get nervous when your daughter competes?

To be honest- I get very nervous.  I'm not even thinking ahead to the Olympics until she has made the team. 

When Jordyn was a baby, did you ever imagine that one day she might be a gymnast?

When she was about 1 year old we noticed that she had pretty defined muscles for a baby.  We used to joke that she looked like a gymnast.  She has always been very muscular.

How did Jordyn get involved in gymnastics, and at what age did she start?

I put her in a class when she was about 4 1/2 because of her muscles.

Was gymnastics a passion of yours?  At what point did you realize that Jordyn was passionate about gymnastics?

I was only a gymnast for one season in ninth grade- on the high school team.  I only competed twice on vault- doing a squat over the horse.  Jo loved gymnastics from the very first day.

Was Jordyn involved in other sports or activities growing up, or did she have to focus on gymnastics?

She did dance for 3 years and soccer for 1 year- but all before she was 6 years old.  Since then it;s been all gymnastics.

Did you ever have any reservations about her involvement in gymnastics?  How did you find a balance between her training, and academics and family life?

I worried a bit when she went elite because the tricks were so much harder.  I didn't want her to get seriously hurt.  She has always stayed in public schools which gave her a great balance.

What advice would you give to parents of young children about encouraging their child to follow their dreams?

Be their support- no matter what. 

Any advice on how parents can best help their kids discover what they are passionate about?

I always believed kids should be able to experience a variety of activities .  Then, if they find a passion- it will be evident. 

 

A huge thanks to Rita Wieber for taking the time to talk with me!

This post was sponsored by P&G. P&G’s Thank You Mom campaign postulates that being a mom is the hardest and most important job in the world  . . . and I tend to agree!  P&G is dedicated to helping moms raise healthy kids with the P&G Team USA Youth Sports Fund. This fund will help provide access to quality sports programs for kids across the country. In honor of Olympic Trials, for every new @thankyoumom follower, P&G will donate $1 to the P&G Team USA Youth Sports Fund, up to $50,000.  Also, check out this Sunday’s paper, where P&G is releasing their popular brandSAVER packed with coupons on some of their most popular brands. For every coupon redeemed a donation will be made to the P&G Team USA Youth Sports Fund.

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