Since giving birth, mom, tennis pro, and all around superhero Serena Williams has quickly returned to the public eye. She is using her voice to not only lift up girls and women everywhere, but also to empower moms. Most recently, Serena Williams' new Gatorade commercial exhibits the hopes and aspirations that new parents have for their children.
Thirty-six-year-old Williams starred in a recent Gatorade ad, appropriately titled "Sisters in Sweat," that shows the tennis star holding a baby that many believed to be her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. While baby Olympia fell ill the day of the commercial shooting and had to be replaced by a body double, the message of the ad remains just as poignant.
Williams addresses the baby in the two-minute-long clip, but provides advice for all women and girls to never give up in life or sports:
Baby girl, I won’t mind if you play tennis badly. I won’t mind if you choose to never pick up a racket. But I beg you, in this game of life, please keep playing no matter what.
Williams' words of wisdom in the ad embody the hopes and dreams that new moms have for their little ones. Having a stand-in for Olympia wasn't part of the plan, but a Gatorade spokeswoman said in a statement that the last-minute replacement did nothing to lessen the gravity of the ad:
While Serena intended to have Olympia make her screen debut as part of this film, her daughter was under the weather and unable to be on set, but the sentiment remains the same.
Along with general life advice, Williams also urged the baby to play a sport and explained the difference that played tennis made in her life:
Just like it taught me, sports will teach you to be strong. You’ll discover the power and grace of your body. You’ll learn to move and you’ll learn the way to move others. Sports will teach you the strength of your allies. Whether your bond is by blood or by ball, whether she shares the color of your skin, or the color of your jersey, you’ll find your sisters in sweat.
Olympia's absence on set hasn't kept fans and followers from seeing plenty of her lately. Williams and her beau were married on Thursday in New Orleans, Louisiana and plenty of adorable photos of their 2-month-old daughter came out of the ceremony. The Beauty and the Beast themed wedding had quite the celebrity guest list. Attendees included big names such as Kelly Rowland, Ciara, La La Anthony, Tina Knowles, Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian-West, Colton Haynes, and Eva Longoria, according to BuzzFeed. Kardashian-West told Vogue:
I’ve known Serena for so long and am so happy she’s found her prince ... She’s been so happy and has this light about her that is so special to see. You just know it is so real.
Ohanian posted several photos of the wedding to his Instagram along with a caption that could make a grown man cry:
You are the greatest of all time, not just in sport--I’m talking about as a mother and as a wife. I am so excited to write so many more chapters of our fairy tale together. And my whole life I didn’t even realize it, but I was waiting for this moment. And everything that I have done, everything that I am so proud of in my career, and in my life, for the last 34 years, pales in comparison to what we’re doing today. And I am so grateful, and I am so in love.
There were also a number of sweet shots of baby Olympia at the wedding, including a couple showing her being cradled by Williams' mother and professional photos of the three members of the happy little family. Williams has solidified her position as an inspiration to women all over the world, and they — baby Olympia included — are better for it.
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