Team USA: 9 Amazing Olympic Athletes Who Are MomsJoslyn Gray
You know how it’s soooo hard to juggle working, taking care of your kids, and working out? Yeah. I do too. Except after reading the stories of these Olympic moms, I’m feeling a little more inspired and motivated.
Because these women have kids — ranging in age from two years old to teens — and they are freaking Olympians. Sure, for some of them, as professional athletes, staying in shape is their actual job. And believe me, these women do that like a boss.
But for some of them, especially those competing in the Paralympics, training has to be juggled with not just helping with homework, but with a job on top of everything else.
Need a little inspiration to find your inner Olympian? Check out these nine amazing moms!
Christie Rampone, Soccer 1 of 9
Christie Rampone gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Soccer Mom." She has represented the USA on the women's Olympic Soccer Team in every summer Olympics since 2000, bringing home a silver and two gold medals.
Having two kids doesn't seem to slower her down at all; in fact she played professional soccer through part of her second pregnancy. Her older daughter Rylie is now six, and her younger daughter Reece is two.
"She is superwoman," said Sky Blue teammate Tasha Kai. "There's no other way to describe her."
(Photo Credit: Palm Beach Post)
Candace Parker, Basketball 2 of 9
Candace Parker is a superstar in the world of women's basketball. Besides playing professionally for the Los Angeles Sparks, he's a 2008 Olympics gold medalist, the winner of the 2008 Naismith Award, the 2008 Rookie of the Year Award, a two-time USBWA Player of the Year, and a 2011 All-Star.
She was also the first woman to win a slam-dunk contest (yes, against men) in 2004, and in 2009 was the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Female Athlete of the Year. Currently, she's one of the 27 fierce athletes appearing in the ESPN Magazine Body Issue.
On top of all this, Ms. Parks is a mom. She and husband, Brooklyn Nets forward Shelden Williams, himself a gold medalist, have a three-year-old daughter, Lailaa. The adorable little girl is frequently seen cheering her mom on at Sparks games.
(Photo Credit: CandaceParker.net)
Monica Bascio, Handcycling 3 of 9
Monica Bascio was paralyzed from the waist down following a downhill skiing accident in 1992. Soon after her accident, she moved to Santa Cruz, Calif., and enrolled at San Jose State University, earning a degree in occupational therapy in 1998.
Ms. Bascio now competes in both the winter and the summer Games: she competed in the 2006 and 2010 Paralympics for Nordic Skiing, and will be representing the USA in Handcycling in London.
Wait, what happened to the 2008 Games? That year she was busy having a son, Henry.
(Photo Credit: Top End Wheelchair)
Kerri Walsh, Beach Volleyball 4 of 9
The 2012 Games mark Kerri Walsh's fourth trip to the Olympics. In 2000, she was a member of the US indoor women's volleyball team. In 2004 and 2008 she won gold medals in Beach Volleyball with Misty May-Treanor.
Since the 2008 Games, Ms. Walsh has had two sons, Joey and Sundance.
"I've been in this sport for a long time, but I love it more than I did when I first started," said Ms. Walsh in a Team USA interview. I feel refreshed."
(Photo Credit: KerriWalsh.com)
Muffy Davis, Handcycling 5 of 9
Muffy Davis was one of the top ranked U.S. Junior Ski Racers in the late 80's, poised to be named to the US National Ski Team. A freak skiing accident changed her path, however. Ms. Davis went through a safety fence at 45 mph, and hit her head and back on a tree. She was paralyzed from the waist down.
Despite her significant challenges, Ms. went on to graduate from Stanford University, compete and win medals in both the 1998 and 2002 Winter Paralympic Games, and was inducted in the U.S. Ski and SnowBoard Hall of Fame. She also got married, and had a beautiful daughter, Elle, who is now two years old. Ms. Davis is also a motivational speaker.
(Photo Credit: YouTube)
Kristin Armstrong, Bicycling 6 of 9
First up: she's not related to racing legend Lance Armstrong. Kristin Armstrong is a legend in her own right: Ms. Armstrong is the only other American in history to win three career medals at the UCI Road World Championships besides Greg LeMond.
The London Games will be Ms. Armstrong's third trip to the Olympics, but her first as a mom. Her son Lucas was born in 2010.
(Photo Credit: Exergy Team Twenty 12)
Lee Ford, Para Archery 7 of 9
Lee Ford's had her share of obstacles, but maintains an incredibly determined and positive outlook. Ten years ago, she was diagnosed with both Chron's Disease and Celiac sprue, diseases have prevent her body from absorbing nutrition and continue to damage her musculoskeletal system. She kept moving though. But then five years ago, a fall during a speed skating competition left her with a herniated disc, spinal damage, and a paralyzed left leg. The unstoppable woman then turned to archery.
"In the beginning, I couldn't hit the side of the barn if I was in it," she said to FOX News Atlanta. The training has paid off. She won gold at the Parapan games, and is ranked in the top 20 able-bodied U.S. women archers. She's competing in the Paralympic Games this year, but already has her sights set on the able-bodied Olympics for 2016.
Also? Move over, Katniss Everdeen and Princess Merida. Ms. Ford's 15-year-old daughter, Shelby, also shoots.
You can follow Ms. Ford's Olympic adventure on Team Ford Archery's Facebook page. If you'd like to contribute to a fund to help Ms. Ford buy new equipment prior to the Games (her current equipment is all second-hand), you can visit the Lee's Equipment FundRazr page started by a friend.
(Photo Credit: Team Ford Archery)
Lashinda Demus, Track and Field 8 of 9
Lashinda Demus is a track superstar, Olympic athlete, and mom of five-year-old identical twin boys! Her sons Dontay and Duaine were born just a year before the Olympic trials for the 2008 games, and she narrowly missed a spot to compete. She's come back something fierce though: last September she won the World Championship of Athletics gold medal for the 400m hurdle event, with a time that broke the American record and was the third fastest time in history.
"Trying to be an elite athlete while being a mother to twins is difficult -- but it's all I know," Ms. Demus wrote for ESPN recently. "Every situation is different for every parent, and I don't know what's hard and what's easy, because the only thing I've dealt with is twins. I get the hang of it a little bit better every year."
You can follow Ms. Demus' adventures in London at her Facebook page, Lashinda Demus' Road to Gold: London 2012.
(Photo Credit: LashindaDemus.net)
CeCe Mazyck, Para Track and Field 9 of 9
On a windy day in November 2003, Sargeant First Class Centra "CeCe" Mazyck and other members of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division went in their final parachute jump before the Thanksgiving holiday. The wind carried her into the canopy of another airborne soldier's parachute, and they plummeted toward the earth. SFC Mazyck was able to free herself from the other soldier's chute, but her recovery came too late. She came down hard. "It felt like a rough landing, but that had happened before," Ms. Mazyck recalled on stopunderachieving.org. "I remember trying to get up, but I couldn't move. My legs were crossed, and when I tried to roll over, I knew something was wrong."
The jump had injured Mazyck's L1 and L2 vertebrae, leaving her instantly paralyzed from the waist down. The doctor told her family she would never walk again.
A single mom, Ms. Mazyck's first thought was of her son Tristen, and how she would provide for him.
Through painstaking rehabilitation, Mazyck is now able to walk with a cane. She's also competing in Javelin in the 2012 Paralympics.
"My motivation comes from Tristen," Ms. Mazyck said in a Team USA YouTube video.
"She's the awesomest mom in the world," said Tristen. "She's going to win the Olympics." (Photo Credit: YouTube)
(Photo Credit: YouTube/Team USA)
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