In the lead-up to the men’s Olympic triathlon this coming Tuesday, those of us in Simon’s support team have been fielding a constant stream of questions, encouragement and interview and appearance requests. It’s steady work, given the attention focused on the most decorated athlete in Olympic triathlon history, but when this video from three kids from Three Hills, Alberta, came in, all work stopped, jaws dropped and a couple of us got misty. This amazing good luck message from Janae, Brock and Lincoln Hoel puts paid to the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games motto that sport can, truly, Inspire a generation.
Simon, to put it plainly, had his mind blown.
Rod Hoel, Janae, Brock and Lincoln's dad, sent us the story behind the video, and the kids' involvement in triathlon. Can't imagine a prouder dad, or a cooler family:
The Hoels, Simon’s Ultimate Fans. This is their triathlon story.
We are a family of 5 from the small town of Three Hills, Alberta. Janae is 13, Brock is 11, and Lincoln is 8, and we’ve been taking them to compete in triathlons for 6 summers and love every minute of it! Their passion for the sport started upon completion of their very first one! Although all three are year round competitive swimmers, competing at the Provincial level, their dreams are focused on triathlon. Watching Simon win silver in Beijing just spurred on the pursuit! They’ve watched every possible Simon video countless times and one day at the dinner table out of the blue, Brock surprised us with his rendition of the last few minutes of the Sydney Olympic triathlon where he played both Simon and Vuckovic without missing a beat, rolling up his shorts, then down, putting on the sunglasses and off again, and so on. We absolutely cracked up watching him and thought Simon might enjoy it too! That’s what gave us the idea to reenact it again with all three kids and send it to you in anticipation of the 2012 Olympics and as our way of encouraging Simon in his own pursuit of excellence!
Janae is a hard worker in all aspects of life and just competed at the Alberta Summer Games in triathlon and placed 5th in the individual event and then on day 2 pulled a ‘Simon’ in the last 10 meters to go and won a bronze in the team relay event. Brock is all speed no matter what he does whether it’s swimming, triathlons or hockey. He won 7 gold medals at the Alberta short course Provincials in swimming in March 2012. But again, his absolute passion is triathlons and after asking for Simon’s book for his birthday, he wrote a research report on Simon for school (grade 5) and got 100%. Lincoln loves triathlons too but is still just as happy with his new lime green running shoes and yellow bike after crashing on his old one and killing a front tooth while training with his brother on a rainy day. Our first triathlon outside of Alberta was the Apple in Kelowna last summer in part because we wanted to personally watch Simon race. We didn’t miss a lap as we ecstatically cheered him on. Simon doesn’t even know it, but Brock raced beside him and Jones for a 10 meter span on every lap of the run. After the race, Simon was so gracious in taking the time to have a picture with each one, do some flexing and chat a bit. They all have the pictures to prove it on their bedroom walls. One picture in particular is pretty cool! We’ll send it to you once we are back home on Saturday.
As parents, we appreciate the role model that Simon is for the kids. He has truly inspired them to be the best they can be in whatever they do, sport, music, academics and life in general. Simon’s ‘throwing off his hat’ in Beijing as an example of a moment of decision is often referred to in our home. “ Thank-you Simon for your dedication to excellence, your inspiration to all kids and adults, and your obvious passion for life!”
We’ve been instructed by Brock that Simon doesn’t need anymore pressure by saying things that imply we are expecting a gold, but he’s approved us to say, we know he will do his best! “So, Simon, we absolutely know that you will do your best because when you reach the starting line, we also know you will have done everything possible to prepare and we’ll be cheering like crazy when you cross the finish line.” This is one family that will be watching every minute of it despite being in the middle of the night our time!
GO SIMON GO! GO SIMON GO! GO SIMON GO! GO SIMON GO! GO SIMON GO!
- Rod Hoel
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