"What can I do in the Olympics?" she asked. If this had been four years ago, and she'd only been six years old, my answer was anything you want to do. But she's ten, and I felt like I needed to be honest with her.
"Your talents don't necessarily lie in the Olympics, honey," I sighed. "Olympians have devoted their entire lives to their sports. Your talents lie in math and softball and your generous heart. Those are things that you rock like a star. But they aren't Olympic sports."
Then I told her about Dachhiri Sherpa of Nepal who was the only Nepal athlete at the winter games in Sochi. He was quoted as saying that he’d probably finish last in his event. But, “the placing is not important…” I didn’t want to discourage my daughter or crush her little spirit, but I did want her to appreciate the hard work and dedication that went into becoming an Olympian. And I wanted her to understand that unless the IOC brought back softball as an Olympic event, we’d probably missed her window to be an Olympic athlete as most of the athletes had been training even before they were potty trained.
“The thing is, honey, he’s the only winter Olympian from Nepal. And while he’s not a stand out athlete—he won’t win the gold or the silver or even the bronze—it’s the spirit that he wants to convey for his country. Do you understand?”
She nodded her little head yes, a slight look of dejection upon her face, and she walked away. She’d taken two steps before she turned back to me with a sweet look of satisfaction on her face.
“I know what I can do for the Olympics, Momma.”
I sighed. My message had not been clear.
“I want to move to Nepal. There’s obviously no competition.”
Dream big, baby … and don’t forget to phone home when you can.