“Now that [my kids] are older, they say, ‘Mommy, we’re really glad you insisted that we swam,’ ” Ashleigh’s mom Donna Johnson tells two other mothers of Olympians (and one former Olympian, Lindsay Davenport) on PEOPLE’s Mom Talk.
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“They used to find all kinds of excuses not to swim,” Donna continues. “[They’d] never carry a swimsuit, even though they [knew] they had swimming. The coach started to bring swimsuits to practice for them.
“They’d never have a towel,” she adds, smiling while counting off the demerits on her fingers. “No cap, no goggles. Every day, it was a new excuse.”
“I [used to say], ‘Well, you gotta get in the pool. And when you get out, if you still don’t want to do it, then we’ll think about it,’ ” she recalls telling her ambitious daughter.
“And then she’d go and have a blast,” Dale adds with a laugh.
— Jen Juneau