With the Sochi Winter Games commencing on February 6th, we’re getting into the Olympic spirit.
We’re taking a look at 5 past and present winter Olympic parents, including hockey stars Mike Smith and Jenny Schmidgall-Potter, and controversial figure skater Tonya Harding.
Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith is headed to Sochi to represent his home country, Canada. But the hockey star, 31, will not be bringing his young family due to the recent threats and terrorist attacks in the region.
“Me having two young kids, my wife’s also expecting number three, they’re not going to go. It’s not worth it,” the NHL star told CBC. “It’s not worth it for myself, thinking about is she okay whenever I’m not with her. It’s something that’s unfortunate but that’s just how it is.”
Mike’s wife is fellow Olympian, Canadian Alpine skier Brigitte Acton.
Father of sons Aidan, 10, and Maxx, 6, former Olympian Scott Hamilton will be in Sochi as a figure skating analyst for NBC. The 1984 champ, 55, makes light of his “unique hobby of collecting life-threatening illnesses,” including testicular cancer and a recurrent benign brain tumor.
“I left home at 13. I have two sons,” Scott told Parade. “I’m not capable of letting them leave because I feel like I missed that time with my parents. My mother died when I was 19. It’s like, ‘No, I’m not going to sacrifice that time.’”
Also a Dancing with the Stars champ, Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi is now raising two daughters – Keara, 10, and Emma, 8 – with husband and former Olympic hockey player Bret Hedican. She will be in Sochi as the U.S. Olympic committee’s digital ambassador.
“I am very excited about the upcoming Olympics in Sochi,” Kristi told Celebrity Baby Scoop in August. “I don’t think my children will go, because it is such a far trip to take during the school year.”
On the controversy surrounding the Winter Games in Russia, Kristi said: “When I think of the Olympics, I think of everyone coming together in peace and competing in goodwill and good sport. I hope that everyone is able to do that as well. It’s all about these amazing athletes who have worked their entire lives to showcase their dreams. I’ll be cheering for all the athletes!”
Former Olympian Tonya Harding was involved in one of the most shocking winter sport scandals of all time.
Two decades ago, her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly hired a man to break Nancy’s leg making it impossible for her compete against Tonya in the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit.
“I don’t care,” Tonya recently told Access Hollywood when asked if she’s bothered by the public’s opinion of her. “Everybody is entitled to their opinion; it was 20 years ago. [Gillooly and I] both have gone our separate ways. Get over it, okay? Its 20 years. I’m sure that she’s done and I am, too.”
On her life now, Tonya says she’s loving being a “mommy.”
“I’m married and I have a son… I wasn’t supposed to have children, so my son is my miracle… I love being a mommy and I like to do landscaping in the summertime, and then I kind of do these fire starters where I dip pinecones in scented wax,” she shared.
Gold medal Olympic hockey player, Jenny Schmidgall-Potter, is proud mom to daughter Maddy, 12, and son Cullen, 6. The 35-year-old hockey star opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about how her family keeps her grounded.
“I don’t really have a mantra but I do believe in hard work,” Jenny said. “I think being the best you can be and trying to be one of the best players in the world keeps me focused and that my family is there is share it with me.”
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