SOCHI, Russia – People around the world are gathering in front of their television screens to root on their favorite athletes. Some fans are a bit more passionate than others because of a special bond.

Athletes’ parents have watched their children struggle and triumph over the years. They are among the millions of spectators cheering on the Olympic athletes in Sochi, watching, waiting and hoping.

New York resident Meredith Kelly, mother of Aidan Kelly competing in the Luge was watching the opening ceremony looking for her favorite competitor.

“I’m here to see my son Aidan, he is a member of Team U.S.A. Luge.”

Her 19-year-old son has only been sliding for six years. Now he’s an Olympian.

“He moved away from home when he was 15, actually on his 16 birthday is when i dropped him off and he stated going to school at Ording School upstate. He’s endured a lot of crashes, a lot of fractures but he’s persevered and made the most of every opportunity he had,” mom Kelly proudly says of her athlete.

A feeling Anne and Scott Heekin-Canedy know all too well. Their daughter Siobham will ice dance in the Olympics for the Ukraine.

“It’s not that unusual for ice dance teams to be bi-national because it’s so very
difficult to find the right partner and it turns out 7 years ago when she was
looking the right partner was from the Ukraine. She is no longer skating with that young man but she continues to skate for the Ukraine during all that time,” says Anne Heekin-Canedy.

And even though the Kellys and the Heekin-Canedys cheer for different countries, both families share a similar sense of pride.

“She has learned so much, grown so much, accomplished so much on this journey
in her skating and in every other part of her life we,” says Shiobham’s proud mother. “(We) are so proud of the young woman she’s become.”

“Our whole family and the town has rallied behind him, and an unknown sport that used to disappear for weeks at a time, and they now are all experts in the sport
of luge,” says Mrs. Kelly. “It’s wonderful we are so so proud and thankful and blessed with everything.”

Both families say just making it to the games means that their children have already won.

Reported by Neile Jones on special assignment in Sochi, Russia