Thursday, September 27, 2012

Olympic Archer and Modern Mom Khatuna Lourig aims for the Bullseye

As we learn through our Olympic Modern Mom series, being a mom isn't easy.  It's a challenge to balance duties and still achieve personal goals.  But it's more than possible.  Every day and around the world mothers are beating the odds to keep everyone happy -- including themselves.  Today we showcase Olympic Archer Khatuna Lourig who didn't let location, ability or time stop her from being the best she could be.

Although originally from the Republic of Georgia, Olympian Khatuna Lourig moved to America to continue her career as an archer. She has only been a naturalized U.S. citizen since competing in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing but her impressive achievements began long before then. 

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Lourig's streak of successes began when she earned individual bronze as well as team gold medals at the 1992 European Championships in Malta. She competed for the United Team at the 1992 Olympics, earning a bronze medal in the women's team. 

Her victories continued when she competed at the 1996 Olympics and the 2000 Olympics. Becoming a U.S. citizen allowed her to be qualified for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where she just narrowly lost to Yun Ok-Hee. 

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Another recent accomplishment Lorig is proud of is becoming Jennifer Lawrence's teacher for the very popular film Hunger Games. 

But the accomplishment she is most proud of is her role as a mother of her 19-year-old son, Levan. Inspired by his mother, Levan has also followed in her footsteps as an archer- maybe one day becoming an Olympic athlete himself! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Balancing Family and Career Goals: How does Modern Mom LaShinda Demus do it?

As mom's we all share a struggle of balance. How much time can we give our children, husband, career and personal passions.  Just thinking of all those tasks, might remind us that we also need to do the laundry, and shop for dinner tomorrow.  Yet, today's focus goes to Modern Mom and Olympian LaShinda Demus for that exact reason.  She has found a way to incorporate family into her work and balance each item all the way to being a world champion. 

For track and field hurdler LaShinda Demus running track is certainly a family affair. Her mother Yolanda Demus was an NCAA champion at Cal State in the 400m hurdle and now stands besides her each step of the way as her coach since 2009. She also has her husband Jamel Mayrant as her agent, but her two biggest fans are her twin sons, born in 2007. There is footage from NBC of the two boys cheering loudly for their mother during one of her races. 

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All of this family support has certainly gone a long way for this accomplished athlete! She still holds the national record for the 300 hurdles and is known as the only girl to ever break the 40 second barrier. Her accomplishments didn't end there. Her record of 400m hurdles in 52.47 seconds in Daegu, South Korea in 2011 is the third fastest of any woman in the world. 

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Perhaps one of Demus' best qualities, besides her impressive ability to balance her career with motherhood, is her ability to bounce back from failure. Instead of falling apart after not making the cuts for the 2008 Summer Olympics, she came back better than ever to win the 2009 U.S. Championships and taking home a silver medal at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. 

Her winning streak continued through the 2011 World Championships in Athletics in South Korea where she won gold and made history with her 52.47 second 400m hurdle. She completely erased the memory of not qualifying for the 2008 Summer Olympics by not only making it to the 2012 Summer Olympics, but taking home a silver medal. 

It is her true spirit and drive to succeed despite setbacks that makes her one of our favorite Modern Olympic Moms

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Korean's 'Thanksgiving' Chuseok serves on Sept 30

Think about Thanksgiving Day for a minute and what comes to mind? Friends and family coming together, eating delicious turkey with stuffing and mashed potatoes, laughing and telling stories -- all activities deeply embedded within American culture and tradition. 

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Well, like America, Korea also celebrates Thanksgiving, or as they call it Chuseok. This is a day that, also like American thanksgiving, is filled with culture and tradition. 

Chuseok is one of the biggest and most important holidays in Korea, coming after New Years Day and Dano, the 5th day of the 5th year. 

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Chuseok, falling on September 30th this 2012, is a time for gathering with family, giving thanks to ancestors for the abundant harvests, and eating delicious food while sharing stories. 

Although the origin is unclear, it can be traced back to practices hundreds of years ago. These ancient practices, mostly religious, centered around the presence of the full moon. The bright and beautiful full moon, which lit up the night sky, was considered to be a very meaningful event. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Olympian and Modern Mom Kerri Walsh is a Mother, an Athlete, and a Role Model

Olympian Kerri Walsh shows us the meaning of Modern Mom.  She works hard and has the life we all aspire to: loving mother, happy family and a respected career.  Yes, we're certainly simplifying it all. Read more to understand her story better.

Kerri Walsh, professional beach volleyball player, has spent her life dedicated to her sport --  even marrying a fellow pro volleyball player, but that has not stopped her from being a super mom with two sons, just three and two years old. 

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Despite back to back pregnancies and giving birth in 2009 and 2010, she came back stronger than ever to win a gold medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. 

Before her 2012 victories, she had also competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and the 2000 Olympics in Syndey -- wow that is quite an Olympic record! 

Walsh managed to come out of two of those three Olympics as a gold medalist, going on a winning streak that was hard to ignore! 

Her gold medal in Beijing becomes even more impressive when learning that it was shortly after having rotator cuff surgery.  

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Walsh has played professional beach volleyball on both the U.S. team as well as internationally. On July 23, 2006 she topped $1 million in career earnings! Walsh and her teammate Misty May-Treanor have been so successful in their careers that they have both earned the title "the greatest beach volleyball team of all time". 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Olympian Racer Kristin Armstrong teaches more Modern Moms not to slow down

For any parent, persistence is key.  Finding the secret recipe to bring harmony to your family is a solution you strive for again and again.  Below we talk about Olympian and Modern Mom Kristin Armstrong who persevered through personal struggles to succeed as a woman and as a mother.

Professional road bicycle racer Kristin Armstrong is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, winning the women's individual time trial in 2008 and 2012. Although her focus now is on cycling, she began her athletic career as a swimmer and distance runner. 

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At age 27 she was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both hips. Due to this condition, she would no longer be able to run at an elite level, ending her triathlon career and beginning her cycling one. 

In 2004 she participated in women's road race at the Summer Olympics in Athens, finishing 8th place, the top U.S. finisher. 

The biggest accomplishment of her career was when she won a gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in China, finishing 25 seconds before silver medalist Emma Pooley.  At the 2012 Olympics in London she became the oldest rider to win an Olympic Time Trial. 

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She is married to Joe Savola and has a two year old son Lucas William Savola. Besides a brief retirement in 2009 to start a family, even motherhood has not slowed this athlete down from winning gold medals!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Injuries Delay, but Don't Stop Noelle Pikus-Pace; Olympian and Modern Mom

It's never easy to be a mother; we have good days and we have bad.  When our family hurts, we hurt.  Sometimes, those hurts delay our own aspirations and goals.  But as we're about to realize: sometimes a delay is okay.  But keep going!  Be determined, be persistent. Olympian Noelle Pikus-Pace teaches us to never stop on our road to Modern Mom victory!

American skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace has won three medals at the FIBT World Championships, two silvers in 2005 and 2007, and one gold in 2007. 

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In 2005, after winning the silver medal in the women's skeleton event at the FIBT World Championships in Calgary, Pikus-Pace was eligible to compete at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Turin. Unfortunately, her dreams would be shattered on October 19, 2005 when Pikus-Pace was in a freak bobsleigh accident. She and teammate Lea Ann Parsley were hit by a four-man bobsleigh that failed to brake after the finish line, breaking Pikus-Pace's right leg. 

Pikus-Pace had to undergo surgery to repair her broken leg, which included the insertion of a titanium rod into her right leg. 

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Pikus-Pace returned to competing after seven weeks, placing 20th at Igls, Austria. She competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics, placing fourth, but after taking off the 2007-08 Skeleton World Cup to start a family. She gave birth to daughter Lacee Lynn Pace on January 19, 2008. She has since announced her plans to come out of retirement this summer to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics

Sunday, September 2, 2012

ONCEKids Publishing Cheers on Olympian and Modern Mom Candace Parker

Candace Parker, accomplished basketball player and mother -- need we say more? This female athlete has been setting records and dominating the basketball court since college. 

In 2006 she became known for being the first women to ever dunk, not once, but twice in a college game. Standing at 6 feet 4 inches, she has also become known for being the first woman to dunk in an NCAA tournament game, as well as the second player to dunk during a game in WNBA history in 2008.

Her talents range as her positions switch between forward, center, and guard, but mainly sticking to the forward position. 

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In 2008, she was drafted by the Los Angeles Sparks, and still remains on the team today, playing alongside Olympic teammates Tina Thompson and Delisha Milton-Jones. Perhaps one of the most exciting accomplishments of Parker's career was this year, when she was one of 21 finalists selected to play for the U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team for the 2012 Olympics in London. 

Learn more about acclaimed author and Mompreneur Eileen Wackerclick here.

Candace Parker is truly from a basketball family, she is the younger sister of NBA player Anthony Parker and married to Brooklyn Nets basketball player Shelden Williams. Even this basketball loving family takes time out of their busy schedule for their number one fan, daughter Lailaa Nicole Williams, who was born in 2009 - just a year after Parker got drafted by the Sparks.