Olympic Star Combines Commitment to growing family with winning Gold Medals

By Dave Andrusko

Olympic star Kerri Walsh Jennings with her three children

Olympic star Kerri Walsh Jennings with her three children

About the only thing that would keep our family (including our youngest daughter) from watching hours and hours and hours of the Olympics was the wedding of our youngest. But now all of us–they are on their honeymoon and the rest of us (via tape delay)–will be bing-watching the Rio Olympics over the next week.

I mention that because of a fascinating post about USA Beach Volleyball Star Kerri Walsh Jennings. You may remember that along with her partner Misty May-Treanor, they were unbeatable and the duo won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics.

Walsh Jennings was 11 weeks pregnant at the time with her third child, Scout Margery, who was born in April 2013. Back with a new partner (May Treanor retired after the London Olympics), Jennings just won her first match but cause a bit of a stir by affirming her role and mother and athlete. According to the Independent Journal Review.

She says that her inspiration is her family, at home watching and waiting for her to come home with gold:

“Before I had more kids, I was like, this feels trivial. I’d been playing for so long, and I was like I need balance. All my eggs are in this one basket and it’s very self-centered and self-focused.

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They gave me that perspective and balance I thought I was missing. It took my game and my desire and my passion for life to the next level. I am hugely indebted to my children.”

Which was okay, evidently, until in a pre-Olympic interview with The Today Show she added, “I feel like I was born to have babies and play volleyball.”

Reporter Virginia Kruta noted that some hammered Walsh Jennings (for reasons best known to them) and to NBC for airing them. But many others admired Walsh Jennings’ obvious commitment to her three children and her husband and to her craft and congratulated her for telling NBC, “I’d love to win a fourth gold medal. I’d love to have a fourth baby.”