Summary: As the Pan American Games approach, athlete-mothers face the challenge of balancing their sport and taking care of their children. Despite the demanding task, they are determined to compete while still being dedicated mothers.
With the Pan American Games coming up in Santiago, Chile, a significant number of athletes are women, and many of them are also mothers. These athlete-mothers are faced with the challenge of juggling their family responsibilities with the demands of elite competition. One such athlete-mother is Brazilian diver Giovanna Pedroso, who has a 1-year-old son waiting for her at home. Pedroso, like other athlete-mothers, struggles to focus 100% on her sport since her son’s birth. She often relies on others, especially her mother, to take care of her son during training sessions.
Seeking to support athlete-mothers, Pan American Games organizers have provided a lactation room in the athletes village, equipped with breast pumps, toys, and cradles. This initiative aims to make it easier for athlete-mothers to continue breastfeeding while participating in the Games. However, some athlete-mothers, such as Argentine runner Belén Casetta, will not have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the lactation room. Casetta, who will compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, will be staying outside the athletes village with her 4-month-old daughter. She expressed concerns about potentially disturbing other athletes if her daughter cries in the middle of the night.
Canadian shooter Lynda Kiejko, a mother of three, has been dealing with the challenges of being an athlete-mother for a decade. She has had to adapt and find help to balance her responsibilities as a mother and a competitor. Similarly, Mexican sailor Demita Vega has found a structure that allows her to fulfill her role as a mother while also focusing on her training for the Pan Am Games. Vega appreciates the opportunity to connect with other athlete-mothers from different countries and exchange experiences and perspectives on motherhood.
Despite the difficulties, these mother-athletes are motivated by two main reasons: the desire to have stories to share with their children and the joy of seeing their children in the crowd when they compete. They hope to inspire their children and show them that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. With their children as their biggest supporters, these athlete-mothers are determined to face any obstacles that come their way.
Tags: Pan American Games, athlete-mothers, elite competition, balancing responsibilities, lactation room, support for mothers, challenges, motivation, inspiration, obstacles