Collate elite sport and motherhood is not easyBut recent history is riddled with great champions who have managed to return to the top after giving birth. And what better than to take advantage of Mother’s Day to remember it.
It is the case of Serena Williams. The American, 38, became a mother on September 1, 2017, when he reigned indisputably in world tennis.
After a few months away from the slopes and dedicated to little Alexis Olympia, the former world number returned ready to regain its throne.
He did not succeed but he achieved remarkable results, such as the title this year in Auckland and, above all, the four Grand Slam finals reached in just two years (Wimbledon 2018 and 2019, US Open 2018 and 2019).
Also meritorious was the return of Viktoria Azarenka. The Belarusian tennis player returned to the competition at the end of June 2017 on the occasion of the Mallorca Open.
“I will do it for myself, because I want to reach my full potential, but it will never be just for me anymore.” “I want my son to be proud of me. I want to give you a good example demonstrating that if you have a goal and a dream, you can achieve them if you work hard ” stated in an interview.
The results did not accompany her, unlike what happened with two other tennis players who succeeded after being mothers: Kim Clijsters and Lindsay Davenport.
The Belgian was one of the dominators of the circuit at the beginning of this century. He won the US Open in 2005 and was world number 1 for 19 weeks until March 2006, just a year before leaving tennis to become a mother.
After his return in 2009 he won three Grand Slam tournaments (two US Open and one Australian Open) and managed to regain first place in the WTA ranking, even if it was only for a week, in February 2011.
For his partLindsay Davenport was world number 1 for 98 weeks and won three Grand Slams (US Open 1998, Wimbledon 1999 and Australian Open 2000), she left the tracks in October 2006 due to her pregnancy and her reappearance was brilliant: she gave birth in June 2007 and returned to the competition in September winning the Bali tournament .
Outside of tennis there are also cases of athletes who have come back on their own after leaving their sport to become mothers, such as that of Maialen Chourraut.
The kayaker won the bronze medal in London 2012, at which time she set two great goals: being a mother and winning an Olympic gold.
Gipuzkoa gave birth in 2013 and was proclaimed Olympic champion in K-1 slalom at the Rio Games. “I feel full, with immense joy. After London we made a very strong commitment to being a mother and an Olympic champion and it turned out well. I didn’t want to miss the first three years of my daughter’s childhood, ”she said after crowning herself in Rio.
Also in 2013 she was a mother Marina Alabau. The Sevillian sailor won the gold at the London Games in the Windsurf RS: X and she left the competition a few months later to give birth to Marta.
Alabau returned to training after birth, and a year later was proclaimed runner-up in the world. In 2016 he participated in the Rio Games, where he stayed at the gates of the medal.
Another case of a Spanish athlete who stayed at the gates of the Olympic medal is that of Teresa Portela.
The Galician champion has more than 30 medals in European and World canoeing championships and played in Rio its fifth Olympic Games, the first after being a mother in 2014.
Portela continued training a few weeks after giving birth and achieved a commendable sixth place in Rio.
Who did get a medal in Rio was Tirunesh Dibaba. The Ethiopian athlete won gold in London 2012 and left the competition in 2015 to become a mother. On Brazilian soil the bronze medal was hung.
He also achieved glory in the world of athletics Jessica Ennis-Hill. The British athlete took the gold in heptathlon in London 2012, and in July 2014, she made her dream of becoming a mother come true.
Just thirteen months after giving birth participated in the World Cups in Beijing, where he improved his personal brand and took gold.
Paula Radcliffe Nor did it take long for her to return after her motherhood. She gave birth in January 2007 and won the New York Marathon in November..
Numerous examples to highlight on Mother’s Day. Congratulations to all.