The 2022 Winter Olympics are in full swing, and as you watch all the incredible athletes it's tempting to believe they have superhuman strength. But you'd be surprised to know several of these athletes are mothers just like you ~ and their title as "mommy" comes way before "Olympic gold medalist."
These 5 Olympic mamas have more than herculean strength ~ they have a heart to show their kids they can do incredible things, too. Here's their advice on parenting, grit, and working hard for your dreams:
Elana Meyers Taylor
Bobsled / Monobob
2 Silver ● 1 Bronze
Not only is Elana Meyers Taylor a 4-time Olympian and silver medalist in this year's Beijing Winter Olympics, but she's also a stellar mom.
In between bobsledding seasons in 2020, Elana and her husband welcomed their first son into the world. Born with down syndrome, some might say their little boy has a challenging future ahead. But Elana intends to show her son that he can accomplish big things even with obstacles in the way.
In a recent Instagram post, she said, "It’s possible to have a baby and come back from pregnancy and continue competing. It’s possible to do extended breastfeeding and physically perform better than most in the works. It’s possible to travel the world with your family, including a baby, and win races. It’s possible to parent a child with special needs and continue to chase your dreams. It’s not easy - there’s definitely moments of doubt and extreme highs and lows - but it’s possible."
Best Parker Baby product for Elana: Gray Buffalo Muslin Cotton Quilt (to keep her son cozy and warm on the slopes;).
4 Gold ● 1 Bronze
Natlie Geisenberger is the most decorated female Luge Olympian ~ and she started racing again six months after her son was born. Her husband and son usually travel with her for every competition, but Beijing was the first time they couldn't join her.
When asked about her newborn son, Geisenberger said, "Maybe I'm not in the best performance of my life, because it's a different situation with a child. But I would never change my child. My little son is just my number one now. It's not the sport, it's just my son and my family."
Sarah Schleper attended 5 Olympic games and started skiing when she was just 2 years old in Vail, Colorado. Her father owns a ski shop in Vail and gifted Sarah her first set of skis for her second birthday. She's since been on Team USA for 13 years and briefly competed for Mexico as well.
Her dream is to live off the land in Oaxaca, Mexico one day with her husband, son, and dog. Their son, Lasse, already knows three languages, skis along with his parents, and went to 17 countries before he even turned two.
Being an Olympian is a whole family effort, and this family cannot be separated when it comes to hitting the slopes!
Best Parker Baby product for Sarah: Black Birch Bag Diaper Backpack (if you're traveling to 17 different countries with a toddler, you're going to need something sturdy, big, and functional to hold all the essentials).
As a teen, Danelle started losing her sight because of a progressive eye disease. Now she has no central vision and her peripheral vision is quickly fading. This didn't stop her from passionately pursuing skiing, though.
Danelle has secured 3 bronze medals in the paralympics and her love for skiing has never faded. While she was skiing in New Mexico, she met her husband Rob and they've been married for almost 20 years. Their son, who is now 14, is a huge reason why Danelle didn't give up skiing after pregnancy.
"I hope that he has learned from me and from Rob how to overcome challenges — how to accept challenges and actually work hard and be his best self in every day and in every moment," she said.
Best Parker Baby product for Danelle: Rope Storage Basket (even though her kiddo is growing up, a storage basket for laundry or blankets is always handy).
Marie Martinod began her Olympic career in 2014 during the Sochi Olympics, but she's been skiing since she could remember. She has competed professionally since the early 2000's, and in 2006 she won a bronze medal at the X Games.
After her X Games win, Marie decided to give up skiing to settle down and build a family. She and her husband opened a bar in France and had their daughter Melirose in 2009. But once the Olympics announced they were including halfpipe skiing in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Marie couldn't resist.
She started training with her family for the Olympics, and in 2014 she secured two silver medals. “I wanted to show my daughter what it feels like to reach a goal that you’ve set for yourself,” Marie said. “She has to understand why I was doing sit-ups while she was watching cartoons."
Best Parker Baby product for Marie: Vail Bandana Bib Set (super cute and girly for her baby girl and named after a mountain town! It doesn't get more perfect than that. And even though Marie's daughter has outgrown baby products, we know she would have loved them).
Seeing Olympic athletes as mothers and wives casts them in a different light doesn't it? All of a sudden, they don't seem so far off from the battles we each face daily. We hope you're encouraged by these Olympic mamas to know you can pursue your dreams and still be a stellar mom. Happy Winter Olympics!