More than 600 Americans competed in the Tokyo Olympics, but 10 of these athletes had a unique challenge this year: they are mommas.
Returning to work after maternity leave is hard enough already. Now imagine being an Olympic athlete! Here are some of the mothers who represented the United States in the Tokyo Olympics this summer:
Track and Field
7 Gold ● 3 Silver ● 1 Bronze
This track and field star not only has the eyes of the world watching her as she chases the gold, but the eyes of her adorable two and a half year old daughter Camryn. Felix has won 11 Olympic medals, 7 of those golds, but she considers her daughter her greatest treasure.
A fierce advocate for mother athletes, she uses her success to cheer on Olympians who also want to start their own families. “There has always been a silence and a fear surrounding motherhood in sports,” she admits. “I remember feeling like I had to choose between this sport that I love and my family.”
Felix proves that she can pursue both. This month, she achieved her 11th Olympic medal, becoming the most decorated track and field athlete. And her daughter, growing up faster than she’d like to admit, will always be her greatest supporter.
1 Gold ● 1 Bronze
Alex Morgan is a true soccer mom. She usually spends half the day training for the U.S. Women’s Soccer team she plays for, and half the day being an involved momma for her one year old daughter Charlie.
The families of Olympic athletes aren’t allowed to support in person this year in Tokyo, but Charlie is a rare exception. She gets to tag along with her momma so Morgan can continue breastfeeding her daughter through her Olympic season. “I feel like I'm learning every single day how to be the best mom and the best soccer player that I can be,” she says.
Morgan has two Olympic medals and usually trains for 5 or 6 hours a day, but she always makes Charlie a priority. Despite photoshoots and daily practice, she tries to be home no later than 2:00 pm every day so she can spend time with her baby. Balancing athletic life and mom life is no small challenge, but she makes it happen and always puts Charlie first.
This WNBA star played an entire basketball season while she was pregnant! Not only does she play for the Olympics and the WNBA, but also she serves as a fierce momma for her two-year-old son.
Diggins-Smith is a strong athlete, but she also respects her body and prioritizes her family. In 2019, she struggled with postpartum depression and decided not to play that season for her and her family’s health. She reminds mothers worldwide that while they can work and be strong mommas at the same time, sometimes it’s better to rest and focus on what’s most important.
Diggins-Smith has one Olympic gold medal and numerous other national awards, but she treasures her family and respects her health above all else. Looking for a new team to play for, she says, “I want to go to a place that is the right fit for my husband and my son and our family… where we can grow."
1 Gold ● 2 Silver ● 1 Bronze
While a lot of Olympic athletes are new to the whole ‘mom’ thing, Lora Webster is a seasoned pro. Mom to three kiddos and one on the way, she shows her family daily an example of strength and joy in hardships.
Webster has battled bone cancer since she was 11, but she’s always loved volleyball. She now competes as a paralympian for sitting volleyball, proving that despite her circumstance, she can still play the sport she’s always loved!
In 2016, Webster was named “Best Blocker” in the Rio Summer Olympics, and her growing family are her biggest supporters. With another little one on the way, Webster still plans on competing in Tokyo this year. Maybe the extra teammate will add a little dose of luck for the paralympians this year.