Interview: Christian Laettner Talks Dream Team & What The Olympics Meant to Him
The P&G U.S. Family Home is part of P&G’s “Thank you, Mom” campaign, which focuses on recognizing the role moms play in raising great kids. P&G will provide Team USA family members with a place to come together, have meals, watch the Olympic Games, meet other Team USA families and celebrate medal wins for Team USA at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Family Home is an extension of P&G’s “Thank you, Mom” gift, which also included a $1,000 Visa reward card to every mom of a U.S. Olympian and Paralympian to help offset travel costs to watch their kids compete.
BSO talked with 1992 Dream Team member Christian Laettner about the Tide “Red, White and Blue All American BBQ” at the P&G Family Home, where he shared his own feelings of what the red, white and blue means to him in partnership with Tide, the proud keeper of our country’s colors. He also talked about the P&G Family Home, a home-away-from-home in London for Team USA athletes and families.
BSO: Tell us a bit about what Proctor and Gamble is doing and how you are involved with the Family Home program?
CL: I wish they had something like this when I played in the Olympics in 1992. When I competed we were very isolated from our families and they had to fend for themselves.
Proctor and Gamble has provided this wonder space for families to hang out, relax and get to know each other. This time around I brought my entire family out and it has been a blast. I have met many former and current Olympians as well as the family members of those Olympians. I can describe how awesome an experience it has been.
BSO: How important was your family in your career?
CL: It all starts with them. My father was a coach and my mom supported everything. I think they were more excited about my Olympic experience than I was.
BSO: We have heard everyone’s perspective on the 92 Dream Team, but not yours. Give us some insight on what you were thinking back in 92.
CL: I was thinking I was the luckiest guy in the world to be a part of the team. I will tell you something else, considering the spotlight I had been under at Duke during the back to back championships years, it was weight off my shoulders not to be the focal point of a team. I was able to just enjoy my time there with no pressure or no expectations. I was a wonderful feeling.
BSO: What is the difference between Duke, The Dream Team and playing in the NBA?
CL: Before I dreamed of going to Duke or playing in the NBA, I dreamed of playing in the Olympics. My mom sat us down when we were very young and made us watch the Olympics. Back then there were only a couple of channels, so you didn’t have many options. I feel in love with the idea of winning a gold medal and was blessed to do so.
BSO: Everyone has been talking about what the outcome would be between The Dream Team 92 and Team USA 2012, what are your thoughts?
CL: I have been asked that question 100 times and I am going to leave it alone. I laugh more about the question being asked than giving an answer, I don’t want to end up on Sportscenter.
The P&G U.S. Family Home will offer services from P&G’s vast portfolio of industry-leading brands, including Pantene®, Crest®, Duracell® and Head & Shoulders®. Brands will offer a number of amenities to guests, including pampering for moms by CoverGirl® and Olay®, shaves for dads by Gillette®, a Pampers® play area for toddlers, and complimentary laundry service by Tide® and Downy®. The P&G Family Home will also welcome a number of high-profile entertainers and legendary athletes, including John MacReady, who will be at the Family Home to host parties and events and Olympic gymnastics legend Shawn Johnson, who will be P&G’s official London correspondent reporting daily from the Family Home on behind-the-scenes activity with moms and athletes. Reports from Johnson will be featured on the P&G “Thank you, Mom” Facebook page and on www.pg.com.
“The P&G U.S. Family Home will allow U.S. athletes the opportunity to spend invaluable time with their families during the most intense and taxing experience of their life,” said Lisa Baird, USOC’s chief marketing officer. “This safe haven is one that will allow them to have peace of mind and time to focus on the competition. The U.S. Family Home truly exemplifies the strength of P&G’s commitment to the Olympic Movement”