Olympics

Serena Williams of the US with her daughter Alexis Olympia after her win against Jessica Pegula of t...
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11 Totally Awesome Moms To Watch At The Tokyo Olympics

Talk about supermom!

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While a lot of details pertaining to the rescheduled 2020 Summer Olympics are still up in the air, one thing has become clear: We could see a number of badass moms take home Olympic medals. For now, the 2020 Olympics are set to take place in Tokyo, Japan, from July 21 to Aug. 8 with all participating athletes taking daily coronavirus tests. Until then, familiarize yourself with some of the moms to watch at the Tokyo Olympics.

From track and field to soccer, you’ll find moms competing across a wide variety of sports at the upcoming Olympic Games. New mom Alex Morgan is expected to compete with the U.S. women’s Olympic soccer team while fellow new mom Chloe Esposito might represent Australia in the modern pentathlon.

Other moms expected to compete include Allyson Felix, a track and field star who fought to secure much-needed maternity protections while speaking out against the athletic industry’s harmful perception of female athletes who choose to have children. Tennis legend Serena Williams, who has spoken out about Black maternal health since having a daughter three years ago, is also likely to compete.

While not all of these athletes have qualified for the Games just yet, here’s a look at 11 of the moms expected or hoping to compete in the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics and how you can follow their training on Instagram:

1

Serena Williams — Tennis (USA)

A little more than three years after welcoming her first child with Alexis Ohanian, four-time Olympic gold medallist Serena Williams could add more medals to her collection at the Tokyo Games. Since Olympia’s birth, Williams has spoken openly about the potentially fatal childbirth complications she faced and the importance of improving Black maternal health outcomes as well as the difficulties of balancing motherhood with a career. Earlier this year, Williams gave fans a peek at how she’s involved her daughter in some of her training routines when she shared a video of her and Olympia hitting balls on a tennis court.

Follow Williams on Instagram here.

2

Alex Morgan — Soccer (USA)

For U.S. soccer star Alex Morgan, the postponement of the 2020 Olympics couldn’t have come at a better time. The Olympic gold medalist had welcomed her first child, a daughter named Charlie Elena, with husband Servando Carrasco in May 2020, just a few months before the Tokyo Games were originally scheduled to start. With the postponement, Morgan has had more time to recover, train, and prepare.

In a recent interview with Team USA, Morgan said she loves exposing her daughter to the strong female role models that make up the United State’s national women’s soccer team. “It’s just so fun to have Charlie around and for her to get used to having a lot of people around and different people just holding or playing with her and her to be just around all these incredible women that are so strong,” she said. “Such an intense environment. She just kind of I think brightens up the room and I think it lightens everyone up.”

Follow Morgan on Instagram here.

3

Allyson Felix — Track & Field (USA)

At 35 years old, Allyson Felix is the only female track and field athlete to hold six Olympic gold medals and the only track and field athlete, male or female, in U.S. history to win 13 gold medals at the world championships. In 2018, she welcomed daughter Camryn Grace with fellow sprinter Kenneth Ferguson after undergoing an emergency C-section at 32 weeks. Since Camryn’s birth, Felix has been outspoken about how the athletic industry views and treats pregnant athletes.

She recently told People that motherhood completely transformed her life. "It's changed every aspect of me but I felt like the biggest thing was it really helped me find my voice," she said. "It helped me to really see what was important, and it's given me a different motivation."

Follow Felix on Instagram here.

4

Nia Ali — Athletics (USA)

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When Nia Ali ran her way to a silver medal in the women’s 100-meter hurdles at the 2016 Olympics, it was her young son Titus who joyfully ran out onto the track to celebrate her win with her. The track and field athlete had welcomed her son Titus in 2015, just 15 months before the 2016 Rio Games, making her win especially impressive. Ali welcomed her second child, a daughter named Yuri Zen, in 2018. The mom of two is expected to represent the United States at the Tokyo Olympics later this year.

Follow Ali on Instagram here.

5

Laura Kenny — Cycling (Britain)

“I always knew being a mum would make me happy,” 29-year-old British Olympic cyclist Laura Kenny wrote in a 2020 Instagram post. “But never did I realize how much happiness it would actually bring...But I do need a sit down after running round after him all day.”

Considered to be Great Britain’s most successful female Olympian, Kenny currently has four Olympic gold medals under her belt. She welcomed a son with fellow Olympic cyclist Jason Kenny in 2017 and has spoken openly since then about the difficulties of balancing motherhood with training and competitions. She and Jason, who is also expected to compete in the 2020 Olympics, may have to leave their now 3-year-old son at home in Britain if Olympic officials decide to bar spectators.

Follow Kenny on Instagram here.

6

Chloe Esposito — Modern Pentathlon (Australia)

At the beginning of 2020, it didn’t seem feasible for Chloe Esposito to compete at the 2020 Olympics as the Australian Modern Pentathlon athlete was expected to welcome her first child that summer. When the games were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, Esposito said she would love to compete in Tokyo should her postpartum recovery allow. She took gold in Modern Pentathlon — an event that combines fencing, freestyle swimming, equestrian show jumping, pistol shooting, and cross country running —at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Follow Esposito on Instagram here.

7

Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce — Track & Field (Jamaica)

Keeping up with a toddler is a breeze for Jamaican track and field sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce. Regarded as one of the greatest female sprinters of all time, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time world champion dubbed herself “mommy rocket” after welcoming a son via emergency C-section in 2017. She returned to professional competition in 2018 and set a new championship record at the 2019 Pan American Games. Later that same year, she broke more records and became both the oldest woman and the first mom since 1995 to claim a 100-meter global title at the Doha World Championships.

“They talk about you having a baby and coming back to competition as if it’s impossible,” she told Athletics Weekly earlier this year. “It may not have happened often but it shouldn’t stop an athlete from continuing their career.”

Follow Pryce on Instagram here.

8

Kerri Walsh Jennings — Beach Volleyball (USA)

After winning a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016, five-time Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings became the most decorated beach volleyball Olympic athlete ever. with three gold medals and one bronze. The mom of three and is hoping to add a fifth medal to her collection with a win at the Tokyo Games. Walsh welcomed her first child — a son — with fellow professional beach volleyball player Casey Jennings in 2009. The couple then welcomed their second son in 2010 before welcoming a daughter in 2013.

Follow Jennings on Instagram here.

9

Oksana Chusovitina — Gymnastics (Uzbekistan)

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At 45 years old, Oksana Chusovitina is aiming to make the Tokyo Games her eighth and final Olympic competition. She competed in her first Olympics in 1992, representing the former Soviet Union. Since then she’s competed for Germany and Uzbekistan. While Chusovitina had originally intended to retire from gymnastics following the 2000 Olympics, her then-3-year-old son Alisher Kurpanov was diagnosed with leukemia in 2002 and she returned to international competition in order to cover the costs of his treatment. (Alisher was declared cancer-free in 2008.)

In a recent interview with Agence French Presse, Chusovitina said it was Alisher, now 20, who’d ultimately convinced her to finally think about retirement. "He worries about me a lot, that I might get a bad injury or fall ill,” she said.

Follow Chusovitina on Instagram here.

10

Sally Kipyego — Track & Field (USA)

Born in Kenya, Sally Kipyego began running and competing as a teen. She immigrated to the United States for college, where she joined the Texas Tech Red Raiders cross country and track and field teams and quickly began racking up wins. In 2006, she was named the top female college cross-country athlete in the United States and later a recipient of the 2007 Honda Sports Award, a prize she would continue to win in 2008 and 2009.

In 2012, she represented Kenya at the London Games, where she won a silver medal in the 10,000-meter and placed 4th in the 5,000-meter. A few years later, she placed second after running the 2016 New York City Marathon while four weeks pregnant, according to Women’s Running. She and her husband Kevin Chelimo welcomed their daughter Emma in July 2017. In early 2020, she earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team after coming in third at the Olympic marathon trials.

Follow Kipyego on Instagram here.

11

Chellsie Memmel — Gymnastics (USA)

After more than eight years away from professional competition, 32-year-old mom of two Chellsie Memmel stepped out of retirement in May to compete at the 2021 G.K. U.S. Gymnastics Classic in Indianapolis. It was a standout return performance and now, Memmel, who holds a silver medal from the 2008 Olympics, is hoping to qualify for the 2021 Games in Tokyo. She welcomed a son in 2015 and a daughter in 2017 with her husband Kory Maier.

Find Memmel on Instagram here.