Gigi Fernández, 2- time Olympic gold medalist in tennis and newest inductee into the international tennis hall of fame, is turning into a mompreneur! The female athlete of the century in Puerto Rico – who just returned from playing in French Open Legends tournament – is also mom of 16-month-old twins Karson and Madison. The busy mom-of-two opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her athletic accomplishments and her new venture, Baby Goes Pro, DVDs that introduce young children to sports.
CBS: You are the the first female Puerto Rican athlete to turn professional and the first Puerto Rican woman to ever win an Olympic gold medal. Do you consider yourself a feminist?
GF: “I don’t consider myself a feminist, though I do feel like I blazed a trail for other young Hispanic girls to follow.”
CBS: You are mom to 16-month-old twins, Karson Xavier and Madison Jane. What was harder: going for the gold or being mom to twins?
GF: “Tough question to answer, but I think it’s actually harder to win a Gold Medal that being a mom. I love being a mom and though challenging at times, the rewards are immense. Winning a Gold Medal took a lot of sacrifice and was a very pressure filled experience. Being a mom is not a sacrifice but a privilege and the only pressure I ever feel with them is to be sure their needs are met so they are happy and content.”
CBS: What is your best advice to parents of twins? What are some tips that have saved your sanity?
GF: “My best advice is to get help…no matter who it’s from. If you can’t afford help, seek out a neighbor or a church/volunteer group. It’s nearly impossible to care for them properly when the infants outnumber the adults.
The tip that saved my sanity was to get exercise first thing in the morning. I walked with them every single day from the time they were 6 weeks old. It helped me lose the extra pregnancy pounds, the exercise put me in a great frame of mind and they loved being outside and looking at the sights.”
CBS: You have a BA and an MBA. Will you encourage your children to get a post secondary education?
GF: “Absolutely, I highly value the importance of being educated. My grandmother was the first female dentist in Puerto Rico. She graduated from U Penn in 1920 so I guess it’s in my blood.”
CBS: You have become a mompreneur. You are the founder of Baby Goes Pro, a new company that produces DVDs about introducing young children to sports. Tell us about the DVDs.
GF: “Baby Goes Pro has a mission to “inspire a generation to move.” The first DVD was conceived because I wanted to make sure my kids got an early start into sports and there was nothing in the market introducing young children to sports.
It is important to me that my kids lead active lifestyles and assuming other parents have similar motivation, propelled us to produce the first DVD. We have an endearing 3D animated monkey and catchy sing a long music. All the sports moves are performed by professional athletes and high level college athletes in a repetitive manner.
Children can start learning the fundamentals of five sports, baseball, basketball, golf, tennis and soccer. According to famed sports psychologist Jim Loerhr Ph.D., “it’s never too early to start developing athletic ability.”
CBS: Where are they available?
CBS: Tell us about the importance of physical education for young children.
GF: “It is very important for children to be active while young because we develop many lifetime habits early in our life. We feel that If you move while young, you will move for a lifetime. With the childhood obesity epidemic in the US, it is important that children find a balance between active play and computer and video gaming. Computers aren’t going to go away and kids will be drawn to them, but what is important is that parents help them create a balance between the two activities early in their lives.”
CBS: Do you also think proper nutrition is important for young children? What about the picky eaters?
GF: “Proper nutrition is important, but I feel that you can make up for bad nutrition with exercise. I always felt like I could eat all the ice cream I wanted, as long as the next day I spent extra minutes or hours exercising.”
CBS: Do you teach tennis?
GF: “I still teach tennis, (when I find time) because tennis is my passion. I am currently offering Drills with Gigi to ladies tennis teams in the Orlando area.”View Slideshow »»