Grab the tissues my friends, because what you’re about to see is guaranteed to bring you to tears. With 100 days until the opening ceremony of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, P&G recently unveiled their powerful new “Love Over Bias” video that will have you scrambling to call your mama.
As part of their award-winning “Thank You, Mom” campaign, the Love Over Bias film reflects the real life struggles and prejudices that star athletes have encountered in their lifetime. As many of us are lucky enough to attest to, there is no bigger support system in the world than mom and this video hit closer to home than expected.
While my love for personal fitness is something I share constantly, there is more to how sports have been a part of my life from a young age than you might expect. In fact, during high school I seriously considered moving to Quebec in order to pursue continuing my education where I could train to ski professionally.
That dream was a little short lived and I decided to stay rooted in my hometown of Toronto, but a member of the Carroll clan did go on to become a professional athlete, and that person is my little brother, Jackson.
Jackson Carroll dancing on the right.
I couldn’t help but well up while watching the Lover Over Bias video because it truly struck a chord personally, and reminded me of the incredible bond my mom and brother share from years of supporting his talent and dream full time. The work and dedication (from both of them) has paid off, and for the past seven years Jackson has been living and working in Europe as a professional ballet dancer. Naturally, I was compelled to share the video with him and see his reaction to ‘Thank You, Mom’.
His response? “I can’t imagine a greater love than the one mom had for us growing up. And even as we change, and become less dependent, it never lessens. As daunting as the standard she set is, mom taught us how to love.” Love us hard, she sure did and still does.
Relating back to the message of Love Over Bias and its aim to help bring people together to talk openly about bias and its role in limiting human potential, I’ll always admire my mom’s support of Jackson’s interest in dance from day one. Not only that, but when he was accepted to Canada’s National Ballet School to study full-time, my parents did everything they could to move him from our public elementary school to the private school (and help him stay there for six years) at a time that was certainly not financially easy for them.
Not only did this decision help Jackson excel in his talent and career, but I can so clearly remember his immediate transformation into a more confident and outgoing person as soon as he was transferred to a school where he felt more accepted and comfortable. To me, that was something truly priceless to see as his older sister, and I can’t even imagine how it would have felt as his mother.
Jackson’s sentiment, experience and reaction is something that’s shared by Michelle Kwan, the 1998 & 2003 Olympian, and two time Olympic medallist (whose family went through economic hardships in supporting her dreams).
“The ‘Love Over Bias’ film reminded me so much of the journey my mum and I shared on my path to reaching the Olympic Games. My mum’s unconditional love and support were critical to helping me rise above any judgements I may have faced from others. We didn’t have all the resources that some of my competitors had, but we made the most of our opportunities and got through it together,” says Michelle Kwan.
To learn more about some of the incredible athletes who overcame bias (such as Michelle Kwan and Zahra Lari), be sure to read their stories at LoveOverbias.com and share your own story (or this message) with the hashtag #LoveOverBias to join the conversation.
*please note that this post has been brought to you in partnership with P&G*