Carol Hoy buying a bike at a charity sale and her husband rebuilding it on the kitchen table – first turn of the wheel which led to their son's six Olympic gold medals. Or Tim Baillie's mum and dad launching him in a canoe on a bit of string soon after he could walk – a baptism which led to 2012 slalom gold.
So take a bow Moira Clegg, mother of four, three of whom have a macular degenerative eye condition. Two of them are in Britain's Paralympic team.
Daughter Libby is a sprinter who won 100 metres silver in Beijing. James is a swimmer, making his debut. Mum has made it all possible.
Libby is 22, and faces pressure which Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis could relate to. From Newcastleton, Clegg made her international debut at the 2006 World Championships, winning silver at 200m, then took 100m gold and 200m bronze at last year's World Championships, and gold in both at this year's European Championships.
Expectation has mushroomed, fueled by Team GB's Olympic success, but the Border woman tried to keep the lid on expectation when she spoke from the Paralympic training camp in Portugal. "We had a really successful Olympics," she said. "I enjoyed watching, and I see it as a positive rather than a negative thing. I'm not feeling too much pressure."
She runs the 100m on Saturday with the finals the following day, while the 200m starts a week on Wednesday. "I'd like to maintain my gold-medal position from the 100 at the World Championships last year, and better my bronze medal in the 200. I came back from the Europeans in June, where I won both my events, so I'm looking to win, but anything can happen at the Paralympics. I don't know everyone who will be there. All I can do is run my best."
A sight problem surfaced when she had trouble seeing the blackboard. "I was diagnosed with Stargardt's Disease when I was nine. It progressively got worse, and gets worse as you get older. It's quite a rare condition, and took about a year to be diagnosed properly.
"Currently I have 0.5/60 vision [ie 120th of perfect) so it's quite bad. I can make out shapes and colours, but everything is quite unfocussed. I struggle to read – I'm between reading Braile and reading print.
"I don't like reading Braile, because I get really sweaty hands and rub the Braile out. I can read Braile, but prefer print. It's quicker. I use a magnifying glass, and 48-point [letters more than half an inch high] type. It's still pretty slow, but I can see the letters easier."
She lives in Loughborough and trains at the university on the lottery-funded World Class Performance programme. "When I go back to Scotland, it's to Newcastleton. That's where my home is."
She attended the Blind School in Edinburgh. "That has meant my mum has been a fulltime carer for a chunk of her life. She has been my pa and taxi driver – you name it. It didn't stop with me, unfortunately. My brothers, James and Stephen, also have Stargardt's. When I got old enough to do things for myself, mum had to take over for them.
"When I was at Blind School, she would drive up to Edinburgh, collect me, then drive to Red Star athletics club in Glasgow. It was absolutely mental, driving me to all my training sessions, everything."
Those two nights of training alone involved more than 250 miles a night. Fortunately she does not have to do that any more. "James has been finished at Blind School for a year, and lives in Musselburgh.
"Without mum, if she hadn't taken me to all these places, and sacrificed quite a lot of her life, I wouldn't have been able to do a lot of these things. So I am really grateful for the time and effort she put in. And the money. She has done a fantastic job."
Libby has a sports massage qualification and hopes to study osteopathy or physiotherapy, "but I will carry on with athletics until Rio de Janeiro," she says. After that, she does not rule out campaigning on disability issues.
She praises Channel 4 for heightening the profile of disability. "They've been brilliant. I don't think the knowledge is out there. I think the Paralympics in London will give the public an insight into disabled peoples' lives. I hope they educate people, even quietly, about disability and what can be achieved.
"Sport, for disabled people, is a massive part of their lives. It teaches skills like independence, confidence, social skills, and that's not including the training aspects. Sport in disability is massive – really important. My life revolves round my sport to an extent, but I have a normal life as well. I try to keep a balance, but for some of Team GB, sport is their entire life. Everything depends on it."
It is hard to belief this articulate and confident young woman when she says: "I was very shy, you know, but Blind School and sport really brought my confidence out. It pushed me, and pushed the boundaries.
"I've lived on my own for quite a while. Those sort of things taught me how to look after myself, know how to speak to people. I have learned a lot more about other disabilities from being in athletics.
"Sport has definitely transformed my life."
interview A mother's pride at the heart of athlete's drive to succeed in life, writes Doug Gillon