Go for another gold! Kaleo Kanahele Maclay is heading to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo to find out if she has what it takes to win again.
Even though she won a silver medal in London in 2012 and gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, it was her first time competing as a mother, she exclusively said Our weekly recently – and it’s disappointing that her son couldn’t attend the games.
“Well, at first I was really excited to bring Duke with me,” explained the sitting volleyball star, 25. Her and her husband Matthew Maclay share their 3 year old son. “The goal is that my husband and Duke can come to the games with me, but obviously that’s not going to happen.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is not only delay the game a year but also change the rules of attendance. This year’s Olympics and Paralympics will be without spectators and athletes will not be able to bring their families to the event.
Kanahele Maclay explained: “It was a huge sacrifice to be away from him for so long. “We will be gone in about three weeks. So this is just the longest time away from him, but I’m really excited. I think it will be fun for him to watch, especially on TV and on that stage. I think it will be great. “
Even though she didn’t leave Japan However, the Oklahoma-born athlete still has to balance intense training with motherhood. She said focusing on the task at hand will help her navigate it all.
“It was a lot of work to make sure I was doing my job wherever I was. So like, if I’m at home, I’m a mom and a parent. … I really tried to focus on where I was, whether it was in the gym, whether it was at home. [I’m] really try in this moment, because life really goes by so fast and the days go by,” she said. “If I was at home worrying about volleyball, I wouldn’t be spending time with Duke. And if I’m in the gym worrying about Duke, it’s as if I’m not doing what I need to do there. So I really just do what’s best to be who I am. I think that helps balance it out.”
However, the athlete said the balance always changes as her son grows older. She used to pack him up to fly with her to training camps when he was a kid, and it’s a little more difficult now. The gold medalist also made requests to make her life as a parent easier during practice.
“There was another mom on my team, and we talked to our coaches about what makes us feel better,” she said, adding that leaving their cell phones nearby will ease parental anxiety. “It was like, ‘Hey, don’t pick up the phone during practice,’ but, because [parents], it makes us feel better when approached, especially with our family. “
When she’s unprepared to help Team America win Tokyo or help run her small business (she owns a coffee shop/bakery/florist) Flower powder in Oklahoma City), she was watching her son find his talent, calling him “so healthy, so crazy.”
“He was very determined not to play volleyball. I do not know why. So his hobbies are basketball and football, but overall he’s really fit,” she revealed.
It’s not just her talent that he inherited. The boy who turned 4 in October also had his mother’s competitive nature.
She recalled his first soccer game at school, telling We, “I said, ‘Duke, how is it? Did you have a lot of fun? And he said, ‘I didn’t win.’ And I was like, Oh no, you have my competitive gene. “
She continued: “And I said, ‘OK, that’s fine. This is your first time playing. You’ve actually never done this before. ‘”
The Paralympian couldn’t help but laugh at his need to win. “But it’s funny to see that he has that part of me too,” she added. “You never know, especially with the kids. He looks like me, but I don’t know what he’s going to get from me.”
Watch the video above to learn more about Kanahele Maclay ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Catch the Tokyo Olympics starting Friday, July 23 on NBC.
https://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/paralympian-kaleo-kanahele-maclay-talks-leaving-her-son-for-tokyo/ | Paralympian Kaleo Kanahele Maclay talks her son to Tokyo