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Heather Van Norman and Odell Beckham Jr. | Source: Getty Images
Heather Van Norman and Odell Beckham Jr. | Source: Getty Images

Heather Van Norman Made a Name for Herself before She Became Odell Beckham Jr's Mom - Facts about Her

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Aug 16, 2023
07:15 P.M.

While Heather Van Norman is famously known for being Odell Beckham Jr.'s mom, she also made a name for herself as a successful athlete. Her achievements include active participation in high school and college sports, contributing to her recognition.

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In 1970, Heather Van Norman, Odell Beckham Jr.'s mother, was adopted by Don and Millie Van Norman. She became the most remarkable high school track athlete in Minnesota's history. In 1988, on the verge of entering college, at the time, she struggled with anxiety about the forthcoming life transition.

Set to attend college in Windom, Minnesota, Heather Van Norman found herself in a state of restlessness. Many of her friends were occupied or away from town; some were busy with work, leaving her bored. During her eighth-grade year, she was encouraged by her school's track coach to transition from junior high to varsity competition as she was passionate about sports.

Odell Beckham Jr and Heather Van Norman at the 2014 NFL Draft in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Odell Beckham Jr and Heather Van Norman at the 2014 NFL Draft in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Heather Van Norman Was an Athlete

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In the spring of 1984, she participated in the state class A meet, securing third place in the 200 and 400 meters events. Heather remained undefeated throughout high school, claiming yearly freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior victories.

She triumphed in the 100, 200, and 400 meters events in the Class A meet for all four years, a performance dubbed the "quadruple triple" in Windom. She concluded her high school tenure with an astonishing winning streak of 147 races.

Heather welcomed her son Odell Jr., whom she shares with Odell Beckham Sr., on November 5, 1992. Odell Jr.'s father was also actively engaged in sports. He played football at LSU.

Heather Van Norman and Odell Beckham, Jr. at the 2015 Fresh Air Fund's Salute To American Heroes on May 28, 2015 in New York City. I Source: Getty Images.

Heather Van Norman and Odell Beckham, Jr. at the 2015 Fresh Air Fund's Salute To American Heroes on May 28, 2015 in New York City. I Source: Getty Images.

While celebrating Odell's 30th birthday in 2022, Heather shared throwback photos of her famous son, highlighting the different stages he had gone through. She tenderly penned a tribute alongside the pictures, extending her birthday wishes and reflecting on the swift passage of time with a sense of amazement.

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Derek shares a longstanding bond with Heather's son.

Heather's son, in turn, has continued the athletic lineage. He has risen to prominence as a widely acclaimed football wide receiver, currently playing for the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL.

Odell Beckham Jr. at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022, in Inglewood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Odell Beckham Jr. at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022, in Inglewood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Heather Van Norman Married an Olympic Medalist

Odell Beckham Jr.'s mother is an ambassador for the Black Women's Health Imperative within the NFLPA/NFL. Additionally, she holds a position on the LSU L-Club Board of Directors. She actively mentors and coaches young black women, contributing to their growth and development.

Heather consistently invests time in building a close relationship with her grandson, reflecting her role as a loving grandmother. Her son also shows their bond by occasionally sharing photos of them and paying her sweet tributes on his Instagram page, which boasts millions of followers.

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Odell Beckham Jr. hugs Heather Van Norman, prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins on November 24, 2019, in Cleveland, Ohio. | Source: Getty Images

Odell Beckham Jr. hugs Heather Van Norman, prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins on November 24, 2019, in Cleveland, Ohio. | Source: Getty Images

Odell Jr.'s mother married Derek Mills, an Olympic Gold Medalist in the 1996 Olympic Games. Her husband participated in the United States 4X400 Relay in the Olympics and featured in the 1995 World Championship, ranking as high as second globally in the 400 meters race.

Heather's husband graduated from Georgia Tech, where he pursued track and obtained his degree in electrical engineering. Derek shares a longstanding bond with Heather's son since childhood and is frequently seen on the sidelines during games.

Odell Jr. is one of the many successful athletes. Others include Camelo Anthony, LeBron James, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers, and Shaquille O'Neal, among others.

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