I had the pleasure of speaking with Deborah Hadaway of Glastonbury, CT, who is Olympian Donn Cabral’s proud Mom.  Donn is one of the three Olympians “bursting” behind the scenes in London, and will be competing in the preliminary round of the 3,000m Steeplechase (8/3) and chasing the gold in the event on Sunday (8/5). We recently caught up with Donn’s mom to discuss raising an Olympian. Here are a couple of excerpts from our conversation:

– On raising kids, Deborah feels you should never tell your kids what they can – or can’t – do. Let them soar, and don’t focus on their imperfections.

-In the eighth grade, Donn was diagnosed with Lyme’s disease.  It took visits to many, many doctors before they determined what the problem was. If the diagnosis wasn’t determined when it was, it could have had lasting effects on Donn. Overcoming this obstacle was an important step for Donn (and for Deborah) – it turns out that persistence and advocacy is as important for moms as it is for Olympians!

-While Deborah is extremely proud of Donn for his Olympic status, the family is even more proud of Donn’s academic achievements (Princeton, class of 2013) and the person he is. These things will persist far past the London Olympic Games.

-Her advice for future Olympians’ moms is to pay close attention to your kids, stay “tuned in” to them and always believe in their dreams.

-Another piece of advice is to know who your friends are (before the Games) and remember them after.

– Just to reiterate the points above, do not ever, ever accept “can’t”!

Thanks to Deborah for giving us some valuable insight into Donn and raising an Olympian. Best of luck to Donn this weekend!