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) 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) 4 Nia Ali — Athletics (USA) Maja Hitij/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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) 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) YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
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
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This article was originally published on
May 13, 2021