Work in Sports
Father knows best
No sacrifice too great when kids reach Olympus
SYDNEY, Australia -- I rode the train home to my hotel from Olympic Park Wednesday night with a guy named Mike Adkins. His daughter, Amanda, is a U.S. swimmer in the 200-meter backstroke.
Nice guy and a proud dad. He looked tired from schlepping all over Sydney, and a little bedraggled from paying about $700 (U.S.) a night to watch swimming on the nights Amanda wasn't in the pool (he gets comped for those sessions).
"I'm not really a father, I'm a pack mule," Mike joked as he gathered up his gear to get off the train at Central Station.
There's more to Olympic parenting than waving flags for NBC, and it ain't all pretty. My daughter is a swimmer, too, and I'm thinking, This guy has spent a lot of years breathing chlorine fumes. But that's OK, because his little girl swam in the Olympics Thursday. "Wouldn't trade it for the world," he said.
You go, Dad.
Sports Illustrated senior writer Tim Layden is in Sydney covering the
Olympics for the magazine and CNNSI.com. Check back daily to read Layden's
behind-the-scenes reports from Down Under.