12-year-old gymnast who is 5'7 devastated after her mother refuses to continue supporting her dreams to be an Olympian

Gillian Sisley

The mother of a 12-year-old has decided she’s no longer going to support her daughter’s gymnast dreams due to her being ‘too tall’. The mom has now turned to Reddit to find out whether or not she’s making the right choice.

*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*

The author, a mom of a 12-year-old, explains that she and her husband introduced their daughter to gymnastics when she was very young.

The little girl took to gymnastics like a fish to water, as the author explains:

“She was totally hooked and kept asking for more and more lessons. We encouraged her, thinking she will eventually lose interest. Now she is 12, training 20 hours a week, spending weekends after weekends competing at high level competitions.”

Extracurricular activities for children are incredibly expensive, as explained by Lending Tree. In fact, 1 in 4 parents have their children enrolled in activities that cost over $4,000 per year. Also, 79% of parents with children in extracurriculars are in debt.

With this in mind, the author writes that her daughter is already 5’7 and is continuing to grow, which has become a point of contention.

She explains:

“She is starting to have ambition for D1 scholarship, or even Olympics. That makes me very worried. Being 5'7 basically kills her chance of going to the Olympics. D1 gymnastics scholarship is already rare, the odds of her getting one with her height is even more rare.”

For this very reason, the author is considering stopping all gymnastics activities for her daughter:

“I cannot justify blowing thousands of dollars a year and hundreds of hours in time every year to gamble on something with so little chance of success. All the hours spent at her training, driving her to competition is already causing our family life to suffer.”

According to International Society of Olympic Historians president and co-founder Bill Mallon, an athlete has a 1 in 500,000 chance of becoming an Olympian. Statistics like this put into perspective why some parents may reconsider investing in a dream of this magnitude.

The author recently broke the news to her daughter that they would stop with her gymanstics activities, especially because her grades are suffering, and the 12-year-old didn’t take the news well at all:

“She cried and cried and cried, locking herself in her room, refusing to eat, saying maybe if she doesn't eat, she will become shorter. I told her over and over that I love her, and I just want the best for her, but she wouldn't have any of it. I tried to reason with her - telling her chasing a "dream" is a privilege, not a right. No use!”

What do you think?

Is the author absolutely right in that if her daughter can’t become an Olympic or elite athlete, there’s no use in letting her continue with her gymnastics activities?

Or is it cruel to cut a child off from something they’re so passionate about, and it really shouldn’t matter whether they can become an Olympian or not?

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