Picabo Street, the Olympic champion who won Americans over with her sunny smile and phenomenal skill on the slopes, is now a 38-year-old wife and mom, chasing after three boys when she's not taking care of her horses.
Ronda Kaysen: A three-time Olympian with a gold and silver medal under her belt, Street was the first American to win a World Cup season title in a speed event, and was inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2005. When she and Alabama businessman John Reeser married in 2008, they each brought a son to the marriage. This summer, the couple welcomed another baby into the family -- Dax, who's now 5 months old.
Momlogic caught up with the ski champ-turned-mom at her home in Birmingham, Alabama, as she gears up for another Olympic season, this time reporting for the "Today" show from the sidelines.
Momlogic: What's it like having a quiet life after so many years in the spotlight?
Picabo Street: There's a part of me that wants to sit at home and love what is our last child, but then there's the part of me that wants to get out and be productive and make a difference.
ML: Do you miss the slopes?
PS: I miss the start to the finish [of skiing], but the rest of it, no. I like being home, I like being a mom. I enjoy my family and our time together, and it goes so fast that I don't want to miss it. I let my kids be little and we play and have fun. I know it'll be gone before I know it.
ML: In addition to Dax, you're also raising your 5-year-old son, Treyjan, and John's 6-year-old son, Eli. What's it like raising a blended family?
PS: I tell myself every day that I am so blessed. I feel so lucky to have both Trey and Eli. Maybe we have taken it more seriously because it's a blended family. I've done more research on how to go about managing a sibling relationship, we've tried to be diligent about it, and so far so good. The boys really love each other, and Dax is what makes it all complete and brings it full circle. There's a little bit of both of them in him.
ML: Is professional skiing anything like motherhood?
PS: It's kind of wild. They're pretty different. In athletics, you're number one, everything is about you. In mommyhood, everything is the exact opposite, and you have to be coaxed out of this back-burner position.
ML: Are your boys into skiing?
PS: Eli has shown some really strong signs of liking skiing a lot and wanting to do it a bunch. He will be athletic no matter what. It's a big focus for him. Trey's goofy. He's not competitive, he's artistic and intellectual and mechanical. Eli's a lot like I was, for sure -- which is kind of funny.
ML: You retired after two serious knee injuries and a broken leg. How do you feel now?
PS: There's very little that I notice on a daily basis. I'm lucky. I had good doctors and good recovery care. It really makes it easier to chase my three boys around.
ML: After you retired, you got into horseback riding. Now that you're in Alabama, do you still have horses?
PS: We do have the horses. I have two in Alabama, Nono and ChaCha, and they're just right there. I can see them out my kitchen window now. They had a plush airplane ride across the country. They were spoiled rotten, it was ridiculous. Now they're out on this lush pasture and they're loving it.
ML: What are your plans for the future?
PS: Some of my big dreams for the future are really fun. I want to have ski camps. I want to spend some time back in the mountains. And then I really want to do some team-building camp summit kind of trainings and have it be really dynamic and pretty upscale. I want to have horses be a part of that. And then there's the mom who will forever be doing her thing, and then there's the advocate in me. I've always had a desire to make a positive difference in people's lives.
ML: Lindsey Vonn has everyone's attention in this year's Olympics. How does it feel to pass the torch?
PS: I love it. I love passing it on. Women really are encouraging of one another, and encouraging of sharing and being humble and learning new things. It's just a neat discovery of mine. It took until I was a little older to really start appreciating women's relationships.
ML: How do you think she'll fare?
PS: I hope she does great. I have high hopes for her. I have high expectations just so she feels supported. I hope she's blessed with success because she's totally deserving.
ML: What would you say to a young Olympic hopeful?
PS: My best advice for young kids is first of all, you're perfect just the way God made you, so believe in you just the way you are. Picture yourself being successful. Visualize your name on the top of the scoreboard. Go for it. Keep it real, and be honest about how hard you're working. You have to work harder than you think you do. You don't want to get to the starting line and think to yourself, "If I had just worked harder ..."
|Ronda Kaysen is a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, BusinessWeek.com, Architectural Record, Huffington Post, New York Observer and AM New York. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.|