In June of 2010, our family moved to the beautiful little town of LaCanada, California. The day our furniture arrived, I came home from work to find boxes stacked every where, and my wife and kids on a couch in the center of it all in tears – they were not happy to have been uprooted from our home of 11 years in Bountiful, UT.
Later that week a bright, smiling, young woman somehow found her way to our home and everything changed. That summer, she befriended all three of my teenagers and took them on amazing adventures in the LA area. Kate led my son and two oldest daughters to Dodger games, to the Hollywood sign, to the rooftop of a local shopping center and to the beach (often). Kate has a larger than life personality that all of us Blakes warmed to, but by fall she was gone.
Turns out, that this Southern California surfer had somehow decided she wanted to be an Olympic Luge athlete. So, when the summer ended, she traded her surfboard for a sled and went off to cold weather climates to train and compete.
Her road has been long, and she missed the 2010 Olympics. She almost quit several times, but she didn’t. This fall, she was having the race of her career when she broke her foot – not a good thing for a sport that requires minor adjustments in your feet to steer. Despite her broken foot, she went on that day to a personal best and won the event and put herself on the map for the 2014 USA Olympic Team.
Today at 3:15 and then at 4:20 in Park City, UT, Kate Hansen will race to secure her spot on the USA Team and if all goes well will receive an official Olympic invitation in a press conference just after 6pm. My family will be there – my girls wouldn’t miss it.
In our prayers this morning, my four year old, who typically prayers for things that impact her (her cousin will be nice, her mom will take her to a fun place, etc.) asked her Heavenly Father to help “Kate win her race.” I believe God answers prayers, though I don’t think he is too involved in sports, but I do think He appreciates a woman like Kate Hansen – not so much as an athlete, but because of her ability to love and inspire others.
At Jewel Kade, we have determined that our mission is to “remind women everywhere of the power within.” Kate Hansen is a poster child of a woman who has discovered her personal inner power. Because of her discovery, Kate has helped other young women (my daughters included) discover a little something in them.
Here is hoping that Kate Hansen becomes an Olympian… and if an Olympic Medal will allow Kate to influence more young women, I hope she brings home Gold.
This afternoon, I’ll be in Park City, holding my 4 year old –whose name is also Kate–cheering Kate Hansen on to victory and hoping God answers a little girl’s prayer.