Can you imagine being a professional athlete and a mother at the same time?
It takes some serious time management and skill, but it is not impossible. Just ask tennis legend Serena Williams or Olympic long jumper gold medalist, Brittney Reese.
As a pro-athlete and mother, there is no better feeling than winning a game or match and getting to celebrate the achievement with your child. Many times you see that heartwarming moment when an athlete brings their child onto the court or field after a big accomplishment.
In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s take a look at some of the most notable mothers that are currently competing in professional athletics:
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Serena Williams, Tennis
Tennis legend Serena Williams is a mother of one daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., who is four years old. After giving birth to her child, Williams suffered a pulmonary embolism that delayed her training schedule and left her bedridden for six weeks. It was not her first time dealing with the disease as she was first hospitalized for it in 2011. Olympia’s father is Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit.
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Serena has won 23 Grand Slams and has held the WTA No. 1 ranking for 319 weeks in her career.
In August 2022, Williams announced her intention to move away from professional tennis and have another child. She plans to compete in the U.S. Open first, though.
Sydney Leroux, Soccer
Sydney Leroux, who plays as a forward for Orlando Pride in the National Women's Soccer League, is the mother of a son and daughter, Cassius Cruz Dwyer (5) and Roux James Dwyer (2). The father of the children is MLS player Dom Dwyer but the couple divorced after six years of marriage.
Leroux was part of the Olympic gold medal-winning team at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Candace Parker, Basketball
Candace Parker, a WNBA player for the Chicago Sky, has a two-month-old son named Airr Larry Petrakov Parker. She had the baby with her wife, Anna Petrakova. Parker also has a 12-year-old daughter, Lailaa with her ex-husband, former NBA player Shelden Williams.
Parker is a two-time Olympic gold medalist at 2008 Beijing and 2012 London.
Kerri Walsh-Jennings, Beach Volleyball
Kerri Walsh Jennings, a professional beach volleyball player, has three children (two sons and a daughter) with fellow pro-beach volleyball player Casey Jennings. Their names are Joey, Sundance and Scout.
Walsh Jennings is a three-time Olympic gold medalist (2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing, 2012 London) and one-time Olympic bronze medalist (2016 Rio de Janeiro). She was five weeks pregnant during the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
Cat Zingano, Mixed Martial Artist
Cat Zingano, a mixed martial artist, has one son Brayden Zingano, who is 15 years old. His father is Mauricio Zingano, who committed suicide in 2014.
Zingano, who is currently signed to Bellator MMA as she competes in the Women's Featherweight division, is the first mother to compete in UFC.
Nia Ali, Track and Field
Nia Ali, a track and field athlete, has one son named Titus Maximus with fellow track and field Olympian Michael Tinsley. She gave birth to her son just 15 months before the 2016 Rio Olympics. She has since given birth to two more kids, with partner Andre De Grasse, one of the most decorated Olympians in Canadian history.
Ali is the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the 100m hurdles.
Alex Morgan, Soccer
Alex Morgan, a soccer player for San Diego Wave FC of the NWSL, has one daughter named Charlie Elena Carrasco, who is two years old. The father of the child is her husband, fellow soccer player Servando Carrasco.
Morgan is a two-time Olympic medalist, gold (2012 London) and bronze (2020 Tokyo).
Lora Webster,Sitting Volleyball
Lora Webster, a five-time member of the U.S. Paralympic sitting volleyball team, has three children -- a daughter and two sons -- with husband Paul Bergellini.
Webster is a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo), two-time Olympic silver medalist (2008 Beijing and 2012 London) and an Olympic bronze medalist (2004 Athens).
Brittney Reese, Long Jumper
Brittney Reese, a long jumper, has a 13-year-old son, Alex Wildee, whom she adopted in 2016. Reese, who was originally Alex's godmother, adopted him when her friend was unable to raise him.
Reese was an Olympic gold medalist in 2012 London and a two-time Olympic silver medalist in 2016 Rio de Janeiro and 2020 Tokyo. She is also the indoor American record holder in the long jump (7.23 meters).
Diana Taurasi, Basketball
Diana Taurasi, a WNBA player for the Phoenix Mercury, has two children with former teammate Penny Taylor. Their son, Leo Michael Taurasi-Taylor, was born in 2018 and their daughter, Isla Taurasi-Taylor, was born in 2021.
Taurasi is a three-time WNBA champion (2007, 2009, 2014) and has earned five Olympic gold medals (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020).