A pregnant Kerri Walsh was spotted at the party for Heidi Klum’s Lavish and Loved maternity lines recently. The two-time gold medal winning Olympian is due with her second child in May 2010. Her first son Joseph was born in May 2009 but she didn’t take much time off of procreating, she became pregnant again less than three months after her first son was born. But she’s not the only Olympic athlete who focuses on something beyond the medals…she’s just one of many women who compete for Olympic gold but who still finds time for motherhood. At this year’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver there are six moms competing in the variety of icy and snowy sports. Check out who these medal seeking moms are here.
Sarah Schleper – Slalom
Sarah Schleper is a Colorado native who comes from the snow sport mecca of Vail. And she is no stranger to the Olympic stage. This is her fourth Olympics. She and husband Federico Gaxiola welcomed their son Lasse in January of 2008. But she didn’t take much time off before her baby was born, she trained until she was 8 ½ months pregnant. She has been called the “the hardest working mommy on snow.” With an amazing commitment to the sport, she got back into skiing shape just a mere forty days after giving birth. She travels with her family, living in Austria during the winter months and she predicts that her son will “likely be fluent in Spanish, German and English.” She also notes that her suitcase includes: “diapers, wipees, toys, blankets car seats, ” saying “I have to cut way back on the personal amenities. I’m also toting along my husband to take care of Lasse and I.”
Noelle Pikus Pace – Skeleton
Noelle Pikus Pace is from Utah and has always been an athlete, partaking in basketball, softball, track and field, soccer, bobsled, and then she found her calling in skeleton. Competing internationally, she took off the 2007-2008 season to have her baby girl, Lacee.
Although Lacee sometimes gets to travel with her mom, she often has to stay at home with Pikus-Pace’s husband but Noelle’s mom and sister help care for Lacee as well. Pikus-Pace says of motherhood, “It has its moments when it’s really, really difficult, and it has its moments when it’s really great, I think the biggest challenge with it is just leaving obviously for months at a time and not having my daughter with me and trying to go out there and focus 100% on my competitions and then knowing she is back at home. But it’s been really rewarding, and I wouldn’t have it any other way … She’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
She plans on retiring after the 2010 Olympics saying “It’s just been a long journey, and I was planning on retiring after 2006,” Pikus-Pace explains. “I want to be home and raise Lacee and have more kids, so I will be done after Vancouver.” One big perk of her job, one of her major sponsors is Pampers! And more kids are very much a priority since she herself is the youngest of eight!
Jenny Potter – Hockey
This busy mom of two is participating in her fourth Olympics. And she has the medals to prove it. She has a gold from 1998, she won silver in 2002, and bronze in 2006. Just three months after the birth of the second child Cullen and was back on the ice and helped win the silver for her team in World Championships plus she was the highest scoring player of the game. But she says it was a “struggle” and she was 20 pounds overweight at the time of the games. Both of her kids, nine-year-old Madison and three year old Cullen will be cheering their mom in Vancouver.
Natalie Nicholson, Allison Pottinger, and Tracy Sachtjen – Curling Team
The U.S. Curling Team has three moms, three out of a team of five women. Natalie Nicholson, Allison Pottinger, and Tracy Sachtjen are all moms. Pottinger has two children, (Lauren born October 2006 and Kelsey born August 2008.). Nicholson has one daughter (Stella born August 2008). The oldest U.S. athlete at this year’s games is 40-year-old Sachtjen. She is mom to a teenager and a 9 year old (Daughter Sierra was born December 1993 and Son Desmon who was born Aug 2000)
Good luck to all these moms and Olympians!
More on Olympic moms at Working Mother