My family and I are obsessed with watching the Olympics. When I think about it, I can remember it back to when I was 2 with vague images of the Magnificent Seven winning the gold in 1996. Whether it is summer or winter, you can always find my family gathered around the TV watching it.
A few years ago, the company Procter & Gamble (P&G) began an Olympics campaign titled, "Thanks, Mom," where Olympians thank their mothers for their sacrifices. At first, I didn't see anything wrong with it since I watched it by myself, I actually thought it was sweet. When I watched it the second time with my family, the feelings changed.
We all came to the same conclusion — what about dads?
Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of people grow up without fathers, and I do not mean to offend anyone who grew up without a father. Successful Olympians such as Michael Phelps and Gabby Douglas grew up with absent fathers, and they turned out fine. I know plenty of people who grew up without fathers and are successful, but that is not the point I am trying to make.
Let me use my dad as an example. My dad gets up every morning at the crack of dawn and drives about an hour to work; he doesn't return until dinnertime and sometimes works weekends. Sometimes the stress gets to him, but he never gives up or complains. He comes home every day with a smile on his face because he is working his ass off to provide for his family. His dream is to see my two younger sisters and I thoroughly succeed in life and send us to college. He has succeeded beyond expectations, and my sisters and I are proof.
Did I win the jackpot when it came to having a good dad? You bet, and I am aware of how lucky I am and am so grateful to have been raised by two wonderful parents who love each other more than anything in this world. How does this have to do with my point? Everything.
I owe my success to both of my parents (yes, my mom is just as badass as my dad). In the "Thanks, Mom" commercials, mothers are often thanked for always driving kids to practice and cheering them on, which is valid. In not all cases, but most, I bet while the mother is cheering on the kid, the dad is out busting his ass at work to fund the Olympic dreams of his child. I think that deserves credit with the support of the mothers.
Take Aly Raisman (pictured in the cover photo with her parents) for example. She is one of the most successful gymnasts of all time, and her parents are famous for freaking out during her routines. They freak out because they love her so much and want her to succeed, and last time I checked, her dad is freaking out as much as her mom is. If that example isn't enough for you, I'll give you a Winter Olympics example. Take Patrick Kane, silver medalist and arguably the greatest American hockey player of all time. When he succeeds, he doesn't just thank his mom, but his father too, and his entire family. He gives his whole family credit for his success.
So, P&G, I have a new idea for your commercials for the 2018 Winter Olympics: "Thanks, Mom and Dad."