Olympic Dreams Begin Here

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Guest Post

Olympic Dreams Begin Here!

Have you and your children been watching the Olympics? It may seem a world away but we hear so many children talking about it and see them inspired about it right here at home!

It started at SWIMkids USA swim school right when the Olympics started. The same night as the Parade of Nations for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Rio’s Maracanã Stadium was going on, a second Parade of Nations was happening in Mesa at SWIMkids USA.

The Rio parade was awe-inspiring as it featured top athletes from across the globe marching together including Gilbert gymnast Alex Naddor, Tempe diver Sam Dorman and legendary swimmer with Tempe ties, Michael Phelps who was carrying the American flag.

The SWIMkids USA Parade of Nations was charming as it featured children from Gilbert, Tempe and other East Valley cities who were waving flags from different countries around the world as they marched around the pools and the gym where they are in the early stages of learning to swim or do gymnastics.

SWIMkids USA did this event because even if the little swimmers and gymnasts are not taking lessons to be a future Olympian, they are gaining so many life skills from simply participating in sports. They are learning discipline, goal setting and they are gaining self-confidence.

Every athlete in the games of the XXXI Olympiad started learning in a facility just like the swim school they East Valley students are learning in. It is in community swim, gym centers or recreation facilities where the foundation for their future success was laid. The athletes then with long and hard hours of learning and practicing became the elite athletes that everyone can admire.

The children who were in the Mesa parade on the night of the Opening Ceremonies could see from the Arizona athletes in Rio that Olympic dreams begin in cities just like the ones they are growing up in. They see that friendly competition can be fun and they learned by being part of the SWIMkids USA Parade of Nations that the world is a wonderful place.

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  • Reply Suzanna Buell

    That is awesome!!

    August 17, 2016 at 3:53 am
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      I know it’s so cool to see people sharing the Olympic spirit by getting kids involved!

      swimkids usa

      SWIMkids USA does such a great job with events like these and with their swimming and dance/gymnastics lessons. For them, it’s all about the kids and that always shows. If you’re in the East Valley and want your child to learn how to swim or just want to improve his or her swim skills–you want to head to SWIMkids USA.

      August 20, 2016 at 3:11 am
  • Reply Randee Beimer

    My oldest son loved Track and Field.

    August 25, 2016 at 3:58 am
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Hooray for Track and Field! I ran hurdles when I was younger – so fun! Until I lost at the city-wide level and realized I wasn’t the fastest girl in the state! Yikes! Love watching the running and the high jump!

      August 25, 2016 at 4:58 pm
  • Reply Cindy

    so very cool!

    August 25, 2016 at 4:22 am
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Yes! I love the Olympics! And what fun at SWIMkids USA celebrating all the athletes and countries! They do such a great job there, always keeping the kids best interest in everything they do. It is a generational business, very inspirational.

      August 25, 2016 at 5:10 am
  • Reply Lindsey Joslin

    I didn’t know about this. My daughters would have loved to participate!

    August 25, 2016 at 2:00 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Next time they have an event like this we will be sure to let you know! They do them throughout the year! SWIMkids USA has a really amazing event called Blake’s Miracle where they raise funds for kids in hospital care and for drowning prevention and awareness – it is a wonderful, meaningful event – I will be sure to let you know about that one too!

      August 25, 2016 at 4:56 pm
  • Reply Melissa

    Sophie loved the Olympics and now she is interested in Fencing! We are going to check it out!

    August 25, 2016 at 2:08 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Fencing! That is wonderful! I’m not sure I know where they teach fencing – but I will find out for sure and reply here. I love how the Olympics inspire kids (and grown ups!) I remember watching when I was little, it was always a favorite!

      August 25, 2016 at 4:55 pm
  • Reply Lisa N.

    We didn’t watch as much this year as in previous ones,not sure why. I felt like the times we tried to watch most were full of commercial breaks after every 2 min event. My kids love the swimming and gymnastics.

    August 25, 2016 at 2:22 pm
  • Reply Danielle R

    My little ones loved trying to do furniture gymnastics. My son go a kick out of the men’s speedos for the diving.

    August 25, 2016 at 2:24 pm
  • Reply Catherine S.

    Winter loved running around with the Olympic torch we made! We practiced handing it back and forth and luckily, the torch made it to Rio! Go USA!

    August 25, 2016 at 2:26 pm
  • Reply Alexa

    My 1 year old absolutely loved watching cycling in the Olympics!

    August 25, 2016 at 2:50 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Which type of cycling? There were SO many, no? Those were fun to watch! I so love hearing about what sports kids connect with! Isn’t it amazing how different ones appeal to different kids? So far this morning I’ve read that kids loved track and field, archery, fencing and now cycling! I love it! I remember watching the Olympics when I was little and running outside and practicing my back walk overs (I am sure they call something different now!) for gymnastics! So fun!

      August 25, 2016 at 4:36 pm
  • Reply Amy king

    My kids enjoyed the swimming in this years Olympics.

    August 25, 2016 at 4:42 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      We did too! So many gold medals for Team USA! Do they take swim lessons or swim on teams? I loved watching the diving too – can’t believe how good they are or how high that platform is! We were laughing, I wouldn’t even stand out there much less jump!

      August 25, 2016 at 4:45 pm
  • Reply Jodee

    Fun party idea! My competitive kids would have a blast.

    August 25, 2016 at 4:58 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Yes! I think the parade of nations was such a good idea! And I bet your kids would have had so much fun!!!

      August 25, 2016 at 10:49 pm
  • Reply Katrina D.

    My son loved the Olympics and approached each event as if it was something that he wanted to grow up and do! Love it!

    August 25, 2016 at 5:06 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      That is amazing, I love to hear that! Do you want pics are so inspiring. My son’s best friend since he was five years old is a champion rower in a crew team in his high school and he is looking to go to the Tokyo Olympics! We’ve always said if he goes, we will go to cheer him on!!

      August 25, 2016 at 10:48 pm
  • Reply Valerie Gardner

    Totally Awesome!!!!!!!

    August 25, 2016 at 5:10 pm
  • Reply Lisa H

    Very cool….fun and educational for the kiddos!

    August 25, 2016 at 9:01 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Yes! And they must do some kind of amazing job to keep kids interested for six hours! I can’t wait to get in there and see all the different instruments and what you can do and play! I can’t believe we haven’t been yet!!

      August 25, 2016 at 10:42 pm
  • Reply Megan

    My kids loved the diving competitions!

    August 26, 2016 at 12:01 am
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Your kids and me too! Diving was amazing! I can’t believe how brave they are – that platform is so scary high! But the kids watch and just think it looks fun! I love how the Olympics inspire kids – just so wonderful.

      August 27, 2016 at 3:46 am
  • Reply LeeAnn O

    We watched everything from gymnastics to volleyball to weight lifting.

    August 26, 2016 at 12:08 am
  • Reply Andrea W

    What a fun idea for the opening ceremonies. Maybe in another 4 years 🙂

    August 26, 2016 at 4:08 am
  • Reply Amy Fortenbury

    It is amazing you gave these children this oportunity. If you can dream it you can achieve it! We had the water balloon Olympics at our house to celebrate. 😂 It really helped our children get into the Rio Olympics. Swimming was my 2 and 4 year olds favorite.

    August 26, 2016 at 5:03 am
  • Reply Nancy Kallas


    August 26, 2016 at 6:47 am
  • Reply Valerie Gardner

    They thought it was soooooo cool!

    August 26, 2016 at 11:22 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Love it! We thought the Olympics were so cool too! We would have liked a break from everyday life though in order to watch everything! We had to pick and choose! Glad we choose diving – can you believe how brave and talented those divers are? It makes me very happy to see how inspired everyone’s kids are by the Olympics.

      August 26, 2016 at 11:37 pm
  • Reply chickie brewer

    This looks like a really fun place.. I think my granddaughter would have liked it when she was a little younger.

    August 29, 2016 at 4:33 pm
  • Reply Kimberly S Flores

    Looks so Fun!

    August 29, 2016 at 10:01 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      SWIMkids USA does such a wonderful job, all their events are so fun! Will keep you posted 🙂

      August 29, 2016 at 10:36 pm

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