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Why This Mom Won't Be in London to Watch Her Daughter in the Olympics

Julie Boxx revisits years of raising two star athletes

"The ground never held any fear for her," Boxx says. The fearlessness serves Shannon well in the highly physical version of women's soccer played today, especially for defensive players like her who must tackle the ball away from opponents.

Because the girls played sports at such a high level from early on, Boxx's weekends were given over to endlessly driving to games and tournaments. "People say, even family, 'Oh you're such a martyr,' but trust me, I was never a martyr. I loved it as much as the kids did."

In fact, despite their world-class athletic achievements, which have sent Boxx across the globe, some of her favorite memories are from an earlier time, before the huge crowds, television cameras and glamorous venues in Europe and Asia.

"The thing I remember the most are those trips in the car and having them to myself. That was a magical thing."

Of course, raising two girls into Olympic gold medalists also suggests something of the magical, and not a little bit of it emanating from their mother.

Also of interest: 16 ways to travel cheap

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