The last couple of weeks have been filled with snowy places and inspiring Olympic faces. After watching the snowboarding Olympic trials in Mammoth, CA and seeing Gretchen Bleiler qualify and take first place, I had to hit the slopes myself and pretend like I was in Olympic contention (a girl can dream can’t she?).
From there the family was off to meet a bunch of aspiring softballers in Bend, OR. Softball may be small there, but it sure is growing fast! I look forward to spending a lot more time up there working with the girls and coaches – especially because my little sis Alana, bro in-law JD, and their beautiful son (come on, he’s my nephew after all!) Kyler live there and any time I get to spend with them is so cool.
This last weekend I was asked to speak at the Mohegan Sun coaches clinic on outfield. We had a record 1,200 coaches and players – so AWESOME to speak in front of a crowd like that: people who love the game and want to learn more. I then visited the Louisville Slugger and Frozen Ropes booths, signing autographs and meeting all those who attended. I stopped by Finch’s booth to say hi and catch up with the 10 minutes we had between signings. She is always so helpful in giving “mom” advice on traveling with our little boys. I know all advice helps, that’s for sure!
From there, it was off to Spokane to run a MendozaUSA event with all the softballers and coaches there. A lot of people don’t know this, but my husband Adam grew up there, went to University High School and his dad and stepmom still live there. So working with the softball players there is close to home for my family and I look forward to doing much more in the future.
After the six-hour softball event, I switched my hat to be an Olympic Ambassador for all the Olympic figure skaters. Every winter Olympian has to go through this program where we (USOC staff and in this case fellow Olympians Dan O’brien, gold medal decathlete, and Nikki Stone, gold medal skier) prepare them for all that takes place at an Olympics. Needless to say, it is a very inspiring, educational, and motivating experience for all. Especially in this case because the figure skaters had just qualified for the Olympics the night before. I enjoyed getting to know them “off the ice” and look forward to seeing them perform next month at the Olympics.
I was able to go home for 2 days before this last trip to the OTC (Olympic Training Center) in Colorado, where we (Brandi Chastain, 2 gold 1 silver medalist in soccer, and Bonnie Blair, 5-time gold medalist in speed skating) spoke to the women’s Olympic ice hockey team. What an amazing group of women! They seem to be in a really good place and I know they are going to win big in Vancouver! I will be covering the winter Olympic games as a blog reporter for Yahoo, and can not wait to experience the Olympic games from the other side: as a fan and reporter!
Right now I’m on the red-eye flight back home to see my boys and then we turn around and head to Paso Robles, CA to work a softball clinic with fellow Olympian Natasha Watley this Sunday (Jan 31).
Big week coming up with a trip to DC with the Women’s Sports Foundation to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports day Feb 3. Meeting with senators and possible trip to the White House. What is your local area doing to celebrate? Join all of us in celebrating this day! Honestly, don’t know where I would be without the life skills sports have taught me … I know many of you feel the same way.
Love it, Dream it, Live it!
Jessica Mendoza #2