Most Olympians dream of making it to the games their entire lives and possibly making it to the podium to collect a gold, silver, or bronze medal. So in the same way that actors practice their Oscars acceptance speeches in the shower, athletes think about who they’d dedicate their hardware to. Yahoo Lifestyle asked 8 competitors who they’d honor with their medal — and the answers are so sweet.
Jaelin Kauf, freestyle skier
I would probably dedicate it to my brother Skyler. I was kind of raised in the sport and my parents were mogul skiers as well but he was really the one who got me into mogul skiing. I never really liked it, and only started mogul skiing because he liked it so much and I kind of wanted to do what he did. So I grew up doing whatever he did — chasing him and wanting to be like him. And he always pushed me to be the best in everything I did. And he skied moguls through high school and then went to [Ithaca] college to play football. And I think he really showed me how to work hard. Everything he did, whether it was mogul skiing or football, he put his whole heart and energy into it and worked harder than I even knew was possible. And he kind of taught me about taking advantage of these amazing opportunities that I have and getting what I want out of it.
Jessica Smith Kooreman, short track speed skater
I don’t think I’d dedicate it to an individual person, but to everyone who has supported me throughout the entire journey since I first put on a pair of skates. Every single person along the way has some part in me getting to where I am today, and I wouldn’t have gotten here without them. I’m just thankful to have everyone that has been there for me and rooting for me.
Maame Biney, short track speed skater
Oh man. I would dedicate the medal for sure to my dad, 100 percent. He has sacrificed. He has given up his life in order for me to succeed and be where I am right now. Regardless of whether I win or I don’t get a medal at all, all of this, the experience that I’m about to have, the fun that I am about to have, is all automatically dedicated to him because he’s the one who’s put me through and sacrificed everything. Obviously, I have a lot of people too but I think my dad is in the middle of it. My dad will definitely get the dedication. If I win any more medals, all the medals will be dedicated to him too.
Aja Evans, bobsledder
My Olympic gold medal, I’m planning on dedicating to my mom. I mean she’s superwoman — she gets on my nerves most of the time but she’s the biggest support I have in my life. She’s the only person that really gets me for me.
And I gotta correct myself because I love my niece, I have a 9-year-old niece and she’s really into watching all my videos and media and in one of my P&G videos I said, “My mom is the only person that gets me.” And she got mad because she considers herself my best friend. So just to have so much support of family members in my life, that’s who I dedicate my next medal to because without them I wouldn’t be able to keep pushing through and deal with as much as you do on such a high level of stress and anxiety that goes into sports.
Clare Egan, biathlete
Probably my grandmother [she is 89 years old and lives in Falmouth, Maine]. She went to Wellsley college, it a women’s college. She’s a really strong and brilliant woman, I don’t even think she had opportunity to do sports and I want to dedicate my performance to her whether or not I win a medal.
Lindsey Jacobellis, snowboarder
That’s so hard because so many people have contributed to my success. It would have to be a time-share. People who found me and people who molded me and my current coaches who have been with me for forever so it’s really hard to say. The easiest thing would be my parents. They really supported this unique path.
Jocelyne Lamoureux, ice hockey player
All the people who supported my sister and me along the way. I would dedicate that to my family, our parents, and brothers and extended family and coaches and my husband, everyone who’s supported us who make up the team behind the team. I don’t think anyone gets to the position we’re in without this great support system. Our journey and success is a reflection of that support.
Monique Lamoureux, ice hockey player
I think just my family and husband, because for the last three years, my husband has been training sister and I. He’s a strength coach. He would never take any bit of credit for the place my sister and I have been able to get to physically on and off the ice. I don’t think he would ever take credit for it, but I also don’t think he understands how appreciative my sister and I have been. He’s got dual roles as my husband but also as our coach, who tells us what to do but doesn’t always tell us what we want to hear, but makes us better athletes.
My parents, my brothers have also been there every step of the way. To share that special moment with them would be amazing.
Additional reporting by Laureen Irat, Kerry Justich, Dana Oliver, Rachel Bender, Alexandra Mondalek, Beth Greenfield, Elise Solé, and Abby Haglage.
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