If we were to believe conventional wisdom, then kids who grow up without fathers are bound to have a disturbed life starting from faring poorly in school, emotional turbulence, substance abuse to a faltering career. But there are many high-profile athletes who have had roaring careers and mind you; they’re not from the picture-perfect ‘two-parent’ families and have been reared by single mothers.
The world might be busy prying on the secret love lives or larger-than-life existences of these sports stars. But today, on International Women’s Day, we’ll be talking about those powerful mothers of famous athletes, who gave their now-superstar athlete children a lot more beyond the ‘making-ends-meet’, single-parent upbringing and propelled them forward in their careers.
Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James was born in Akron Ohio to his mother Gloria Marie James who was just 16 years old at the time of his birth. Things were extremely difficult for the family as his father, Anthony McClelland had abandoned his mother as soon as she got pregnant. Amidst her struggle to find solid employment, when James was nine years old, Gloria thought it was best for him to move in with his youth football coach, Frank Walker. He was the one who helped LeBron eventually blossom in basketball and the charming boy never looked back.
One of the finest female goalkeepers in the United States, Hope Solo’s parents, Judy and Jeffrey, got divorced when she was just six. Quite appallingly, there was also a time when her father had got arrested for kidnapping Solo and her brother Marcus and taking them to Seattle under the pretense of attending a nearby baseball game. Her mother, who battled alcohol issues during her growing up years, remained the true champion of the family by keeping a roof over their head and helped the sports star stay focused on soccer.
Whoever said that ‘daddy issues’ can ruin one’s life was obviously inebriated while saying so. Real Madrid hottie Cristiano Ronaldo was raised by his mother Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro as his father was an alcohol addict who contributed nothing in his life. Can you believe that his mother almost aborted Ronaldo during her pregnancy but later changed her mind? Maria now takes care of her son’s finances, worth $400 million, and is a blazing example of conquering single parenting.
Julia embarked upon her roaring ski racing career at the young age of 15, but did you know that her father was arrested for running a million dollar marijuana operation when she was just five? Her parents soon got divorced post this scandal and she was raised by her mother Andrea Mancuso Webber, who managed to channel the li’l girl’s anger over her father’s arrest and led her to win four Olympic medals.
Former professional cyclist Lance Edward Armstrong was brought up without a father as his 17-year-old mother Linda got separated from her partner shortly after giving birth. Linda again got divorced for the second time when Armstrong was only three, so she had to raise her son by herself. She took up several odd jobs to stay afloat and later gifted her son the most precious thing ever, a Schwinn bicycle. The young athlete soon took to competing professionally and as they say, the rest is history.