Mothers in competitive sports.  How female athletes combine work and familyWorld News 

Mothers in competitive sports. How female athletes combine work and family

Football, volleyball, pool, horse riding
From Maria Schult to Geisenberger. mothers in competitive sports

Tennis player Tatyana Maria likes to talk about her role as a mother. Her eight-year-old daughter also plays tennis diligently.

© ZUMA Wire / Imago Images

Even if it often requires more organizational talent and dedication, some moms show just how successful you can be in competitive sports with the family. Examples include tennis, soccer, horse riding, and beach volleyball.

In competitive sports, mothers face very special challenges. Without help, it is not possible to combine family and career as well as possible, says former shot putter Kristina Schvanitz. However, more and more women are doing very well with their families. A selection of German sports moms.

Mothers return to competitive sports after giving birth

Tatiana MariaDuring her fairytale Wimbledon tennis run, the 34-year-old was once asked if she really got tired of talking about motherhood over and over again. “I like to talk about it,” Maria replied. “The most important thing in my life is to be a mother of two children, it will not change anything.” She gave birth to her second daughter, Cecilia, 15 months ago, and has reached the semifinals better than ever in her career. Maria is coached by her husband, Charles-Edouard, and their eight-year-old daughter, Charlotte, also works hard at Wimbledon.

Almut Schult. The 31-year-old is part of the squad for the European Championship in England, but is only second to Merle Fromms. She gave birth to twins in April 2020 and returned to goal at VfL Wolfsburg a year later. The 2016 Olympic champion and 64-time national player did not play a game for the DFB, but remains a leader. After the European Championship, he joined “Angel City” football club and moved to the USA with his husband and children.

Christine Schwanitz. A year after giving birth to her twins in July 2017 and only six months of training, the shot putter is back in the ring. A year later, at the German championship held in Nuremberg, the title was there. The 2014 and 2016 European champion and 2015 world champion had more trouble organizing the care of her “crumbs,” as she called her children, than she did with the ball. “Family and competitive sports are compatible, but only with help,” said Schwanitz, who won bronze at the 2019 World Cup. After a series of physical complaints and stress, the cheerful Saxon nature ended his career in February at the age of 36.

Professional luger Natalie Geisenberger at the Beijing Olympic Winter Games

Professional luger Natalie Geisenberger at the Beijing Olympic Winter Games

© Sammy Minkoff / Imago Images

Natalie Geisenberger. The exceptional tobogganist returned to sledding almost half a year after the birth of her son, Leo, in May 2020. “I had respect and then I asked myself, do I still want it, do I still need it,” said the 34-year-old woman, who became Germany’s most successful Winter Olympian with her double gold in Beijing 2022. It was a hard and tiring path for Misbacherin, who had a lot of support in the family. Geisenberger is expecting her second child early next year. Will there be a comeback after a second child hiatus is an open question, and career-ending can’t be ruled out.

Christine Lang. The three-time German table tennis champion gave birth to her daughter Caroline in January 2018. Just five weeks later, he was playing again in the Bundesliga for his club SV DJK Kolbermoor. Only seven months later, he won the title of European champion in doubles. The 37-year-old football player’s family often attends tournaments and league games. Her husband once played in the Bundesliga.

Laura Ludwig. The 2016 beach volleyball Olympic champion gave birth to her first child in 2018, and returned to the world tour a year later. With his then new partner Margaretta Kozuch, he won the final in Rome. Last year, Ludwig was the flag bearer of the German delegation at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. In May 2022, Ludwig’s second child, Leni, was born. He wants to get back to the sand after summer vacation.

Volleyball player Laura Ludwig on the court

The Olympic beach volleyball champion gave birth to her first child in 2018

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Jessica von Bredu-Werndl. The double Olympic champion and three-time European champion is expecting her second child at the end of August. At the beginning of April, the 36-year-old from Tuntenhausen, Bavaria, won the World Cup with her lucky horse Dallera in Leipzig in the fifth month of pregnancy. He missed the World Championships in August. After the birth of her son Moritz in 2017, von Bredo-Werndl’s rise began. He supports the “#Equalequest” initiative of show jumper Jean Friederike Meyer-Zimmerman. The initiative fights for the fair disposal of world ranking points after a break due to pregnancy and childbirth. Equestrian is the only Olympic sport where men and women compete against each other.


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