The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are right around the corner, running from Feb. 9 through Feb. 25. The games are followed by the Paralympics, running from March 9 through 18.
The official U.S. roster for the Winter Games, released Friday, Feb. 5, by the U.S. Olympic Committee, is made up of 242 athletes (the largest contingent by any nation for a Winter Games) — and includes 37 Olympic medalists of which 10 are Olympic champions and 15 have won multiple medals. The U.S. team also includes 107 women. And in our humble opinion, many of those women deserve a medal before the games even begin — because in addition to super-athletes, they’re moms. Yep, that’s multitasking on a whole other level.
Below, learn about this year’s amazing mom athletes Danelle Umstead and Kikkan Randall — as well as six other moms who’ve managed to juggle parenting with competing in the world’s biggest international sporting events.
Five-time Olympian Kikkan Randall is a gold medal-winning cross-country skier. She’s also lead U.S. ambassador for Fast and Female, an empowerment workshop program for young girls, and mom to son Breck, 21 months. “I was pleasantly surprised by what a powerful and positive influence becoming a mother was on my ski racing,” wrote Randall on Motto, adding, “Turns out baby chores are great for settling nerves.”
American alpine skier and Paralympian Danelle Umstead is blind due to retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease in which retinal cells break down and are eventually lost; she also has multiple sclerosis. But never mind all that. Umstead won two bronze medals in the 2010 Winter Paralympics, made it a hat trick in 2014 (with her husband, Rob, as her sighted guide), and she’s back for 2018 in Pyeongchang. Umstead is mom to son Brocton, 10. To learn more about her remarkable journey (and favorite snacks) check out our exclusive interview.
Track and field star Nia Ali‘s son Titus, 2, was born only 15 months before she bagged the 100-meter hurdles silver medal at the Rio Olympics. He kind of stole her thunder too by sharing her victory lap, posing for photos and even being interviewed for TV — but we’re guessing she didn’t mind.
A self-described “momma on a mission,” Olympic swimmer Dana Vollmer has trained, competed for and won bronze, silver and gold medals while raising son Arlen, 2. Her gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016 is USA Swimming’s first-ever gold won by a mother, no less.
Three-time Olympian and seven-time world champion long jumper,is mom to adopted son Alex, 9. “I’ve known his momma since we were kids, and he’s actually my godson, so I just felt like I wanted to raise him,” she said in a USA Track & Field press release in 2016. “I adopted him, and he stayed with my mom for, like, two years, and then I took over this year to just raise him,” Reese said. “It always felt like he was mine anyway since I had helped to raise him since he was born; he is attached to me.”
Soccer legend Christie Rampone, also known as Captain America, was rarely out of the starting lineup during her 19-year career, which encompassed two gold medal runs, one Women’s World Cup title, 22 Olympic matches and the births of her daughters Rylie, 7, and Reece, 12. (After giving birth to Reece, she was back on the field in 90 days, according to U.S. Soccer.)
Kristin Armstrong is the most decorated female cyclist in U.S. history, winning gold at each of the last three Summer Olympics — making her the only cyclist (male or female) to win three consecutive golds in the same discipline. Armstrong credits being a mom with being part of her “secret weapon,” telling NPR, parenting “provides me balance and it keeps me on track and it keeps me super-focused.”
Whether these Olympic moms inspire you to take up cycling/skiing/swimming yourself or you just want to acknowledge their greatness from the comfort of your sofa, we can all agree on one thing: They’re some serious inspiration. We can’t wait to see what the nation’s top mom athletes will accomplish next.