Mothers of Olympic gold medalists Meryl Davis, Charlie White offer parenting advice

cheryl davis jackie white
Cheryl Davis (left) and Jackie White waited at the Ralph Lauren store as their children Meryl Davis and Charlie White signed autographs.
Credit: Andrea Park / Metro

We ran into Cheryl Davis and Jackie White, the cutest moms at this year’s Winter Olympics. Davis and White, whose children Meryl Davis and Charlie White became the first American ice dancing pair to win gold, are close friends and can be seen in the stands cheering together. We spotted them at the Ralph Lauren store on Madison Avenue, proudly taking photos of their children on their iPhones as Meryl and Charlie signed autographs.

Metro: What was it like when you saw them win that gold medal? Did you expect it at all?
Davis: I thought it could go one way or another. We weren’t expecting it. We knew they worked really hard and they did a really good job but you never know until they bring up the scores.
White: There were several minutes of waiting after they finished where we thought they had done a brilliant job but they – we didn’t know until the scores came up for sure because there’s no way to know.
Davis: There’s no knowing.

You’ve been doing this for so long, you’ve been at the side of every ice rink – how did it feel?
Davis: It was fabulous. Very emotional.
White: It went from really, really hard to just elation in a matter of seconds – like a roller coaster.

What advice do you have to other parents who are training future Olympians?
White: Take it one day at a time. I think that’s the best advice. Take it one day at a time.
Davis: Let them enjoy it.
White: Yes. Absolutely. Let them enjoy it. Let it be their sport and don’t try to push them and make their goals for them.

What was the biggest struggle for you two as parents of athletes? You’re not quite on the ice but you’ve been behind them the entire time.
Davis: Sometimes I think it was watching how tired they would get. You can’t always step in and help. Sometimes it’s up to them and they have to do it for themselves. You can’t save them.
White: And there are the times when there are the disappointments where they worked really hard but they just weren’t good enough or ready enough. It just wasn’t their time. But you know how much they want it and how hard they’ve worked so you feel that disappointment right along with them. As a parent, that’s what hurts the most – seeing your child sad. But then they’d pick themselves up and go back to work and we would too. We’d hang in there and be supportive. But those were some tough times to watch.

What would you say to encourage them?
White: “Work harder. Go back to work. You can do it.” Just be a supportive and positive person. “If you really love it, don’t give up on it.”
Davis: Some of the times they didn’t come in first were probably the best learning experiences they ever had because it taught them something. They had to go back and work on something. It gave them a better work ethic. If they had won too soon they would never have built that work ethic.

Did you feel that way at the time, too?
Davis: Yeah.
White: Yeah.
Davis: We always did.
White: We always knew that good or bad, you learn something from it and you take something away from every experience and you learn how to make it work for you and we had enough time doing it to really see that work.

Did you feel from the beginning that Charlie and Meryl were a natural fit for each other?
Davis: The coaches said they were but they were just little kids.
White: We believed the coaches. But they looked cute together. We always knew that.
Davis: But we didn’t know.
White: We had no expectations. We just went one day at a time.
Davis: We’re still going one day at a time. We don’t even know what they’re doing tomorrow.

What are you doing tonight?
White: We’re doing the Colbert Show so that’ll be fun. We’ll probably try to get dinner with them. We haven’t had a lot of time with them since they won. In fact, the day that they won the gold medal we were both sick – [Davis] couldn’t even get out of bed – so we didn’t have a chance to see them at all until the next day. We’re looking forward to when they get home so we can have a family party and celebrate with them.

Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…

Local

Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…

Local

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…

News

U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…

Music

See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

NFL

Rex Ryan fields more questions about Geno Smith,…

The idea Geno Smith will be replaced by backup Michael Vick appears to be all smoke, as the Jets are intent to ride with their second-round draft pick.

NFL

Will Beatty playing like franchise left tackle again…

Left tackle Will Beatty, who is the elder-statesman of Giants’ line, has turned around his season and become a consistent force on Manning’s blindside.

NFL

John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…

NFL

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid

Career

Creating a support system for minority women in…

When Kathryn Finney founded digitalundivided — an organization devoted to engaging minority communities with the tech world — she didn’t know quite what to expect.…

Sex

We can learn a lot from animals about…

There’s a lot we can learn about love from the birds and the bees — and the chickens, monkeys and squirrels that we share the…

Style

Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.