When Canadian women’s basketball player Miranda Ayim triumphantly led the Canadian contingent into the opening ceremony at Tokyo 2020, a small group of friends and family gathered back in London, Ont., to cheer her on.
At the centre of the group were Ayim’s parents, Gus and Sandy Ayim, who were understandably beaming with pride.
Any parent of an Olympic athlete would be on the edge of their seat watching their child enter the Olympic Stadium, but when they are the ones leading the team and carrying the flag, the emotions are surely that much stronger.
We're not crying, you are 🥺🥺
Flag bearer Miranda Ayim's parents react to watching their daughter carry the 🇨🇦 in the #Tokyo2020 opening ceremony❤️ @AyimWhoAyim
Watch now here: https://t.co/4cE0q5TO3z pic.twitter.com/XGLUmomMB7
— CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) July 23, 2021
“Exhilaration, nervousness, anticipation as we just saw the flag...the Canada flag in the corner in the back, in the tunnel, and then that ratcheted everything up just a little bit as we saw the anticipation of them coming out,” Gus told CTV News.
Suddenly, all those long years of early morning drives to practices and weekends spent on the road at basketball tournaments don’t seem like much of a sacrifice at all. Not when this was what they were leading to.
But still, Ayim knows she wouldn’t be in this spot without the support of her parents. In fact, back in 2018, she thanked her parents in an Instagram post for all they have done for her.
“Of all the people in our lives we take for granted, parents seem to continually rank at the top of the list,” Ayim wrote in the caption. “Without them, there would have been no rebounder in the gym at 6 in the morning, no driver to countless practices and games, no cheerleader in the stands, no consoler after a hard game, no counsellor in the face of hard decisions.”
Now, with the opening ceremony behind her, Ayim can turn her focus to basketball.
The 33-year-old forward and the rest of her Canadian teammates will begin their pursuit of a medal when they face off against Serbia on Monday.
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