Road To The Olympic Games

Olympics·Mother's Day

What motherhood has taught these Olympians 

On Mother's Day, we look at what some of the nation's top athlete moms have to say about balancing parenthood while competing at the highest levels.

Jennifer Jones one of many female athletes who say being a mom lends to her craft

Canadian curling skip Jennifer Jones, seen above in a file photo from 2018, embraces her children Isabella, left, and Skyla. Jones says since having her kids she's learned to become more accepting of who she is. (File/The Canadian Press)

On Mother's Day, we look at what some of the nation's top athlete moms have to say about balancing parenthood while competing at the highest levels.

"It's changed our lives quite a bit, but all for the better. She brings so much joy and happiness to our lives. It's unlike any other type of achievement or challenge to try and be the best parents possible. She's filled our hearts with such happiness, it's helped ease [retirement] from hockey." - Former Team Canada captain and four-time Olympic hockey gold medallist Caroline Ouellette on life with daughter Liv with partner, Julie Chu, in conversation with Anastasia Bucsis on Player's Own Voice podcast.
"We're different people on the ice than perhaps we are off the ice. On the curling ice, I think people see me as being focused, fierce in a way and determined … Since I've had my kids, to be honest, I think you just become more accepting of who you are. I did for sure. And I'm in a really good place. I feel very confident that I'm a good mom to my kids and I've set a good example for them." - 2014 Olympic and six-time Scotties champion skip Jennifer Jones on how her children keep her grounded, as told to Anastasia Bucsis on the Player's Own Voice podcast.

"I want her to be healthy, happy and active. We are truly, truly blessed in our life for all the experiences we've had. For me personally, getting the chance to go to four Olympics Games, 14 years on the national team, playing college, travelling the world. Incredible things we've experienced and been exposed to, but the greatest lesson in our life is getting a chance to have our family and having Liv. It's challenging sometimes. We absolutely love being Moms." - Former Team USA hockey captain Julie Chu, four-time Olympian and now head coach of the Concordia Stingers women's hockey team, talking about daughter Liv on the Player's Own Voice podcast.

WATCH | Canadian mothers watch as their kids win Olympic medals:

Here's to you, Olympic moms


12 months ago
This video of moms watching their kids win Olympic medals will pull on your heart strings. 2:26
"Having Corinne has taught me that you are stronger than you actually think you are. You can do whatever you want to do. She brings that out in me. I know I can fulfill my dreams of being on the podium in Tokyo." - Two-time Olympian and 800-metre Canadian record holder Melissa Bishop-Nriagu on what she's learned from her daughter, Corinne.

"Corinne is almost two. She is the best thing that has ever happened to us. She knows what I do. She knows that Mommy runs … Prior to COVID-19, I was finding my balance [between training and being a mom]. We had the help of daycare and I was back into a full-time training routine. But now, it's a difficult time. It's heavier on the mom side than it is training right now. We're doing what we can. We have a running stroller now. I never used to run with a stroller, but now I am because I don't have any other choice." - Bishop-Nriagu on finding life balance as she prepares for the Tokyo 2021 Summer Olympics.

WATCH | Bishop-Nriagu claims 'Mom Olympics' crown:

Melissa Bishop-Nriagu wins inaugural Mom Olympics

Olympic Sports

12 months ago
To celebrate mother's day we had 3 Olympic moms (Mandy Bujold, Meaghan Mikkelson, Melissa Bishop-Nriagu) face each other in a battle of will and perseverance. Bishop-Nriagu had the fastest time over 5 events. Can you beat it? 1:46

"I was so used to my own selfish routine of getting to work out when I wanted to work out, sleep when I wanted to sleep and eat when I wanted to eat. It took me a solid two months to just give in, be on his schedule and go with the flow of things. Now that he's a little bit older, this is where the positives of being an Olympian come in. You're used to this really rigid routine and I thrive on a routine. Now I'm able to get a better sense of when he's hungry, when he's actually tired, when he needs to play or stay awake. We were able to create a schedule we can stick to. It feels more like my previous life before kids, I'm thriving on that and he's doing really well with that, too. And resilience. In the heptathlon, you get four hours of sleep in between the two days [of competition], so now I get 20 days in a row of doing the heptathlon with no sleep. It's all good. My husband has been amazing helping with everything, too." - Heptathlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton, Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist and three-time world silver medallist, on how being an Olympian has prepared her for motherhood. Her son Ander (with two-time Olympic champion decathlete Ashton Eaton) was born January 21, 2020.

WATCH | Theisen-Eaton, Bishop-Nriagu discuss lessons in motherhood:

Olympians Theisen-Eaton and Bishop-Nriagu say motherhood has changed them


12 months ago
The track and field stars open up about being first-time moms and how it's changed their perspective on life and sport. 3:01

"That I do have the ability to be patient. When I was an athlete, I remember everyone saying 'just be patient, just be patient, it will come, it will come.' I don't think I ever learned the lesson of patience as an athlete. When you have a child, you just don't have a choice. You can either totally break down and lose it or you can put up your arms and say 'it is what it is today, I'm just going to go with the flow.' I feel like I'm more laid back. And I'm willing to accept that maybe sometimes it's two steps forward and one step back. It'll turn back around. I could never do that as an athlete. I was always so critical of things." - Theisen-Eaton on what her son, Ander has taught her about herself.

ICYMI | Karina LeBlanc details 'difficult' isolation period:

Karina LeBlanc on struggles while separated from newborn due to COVID-19 quarantine


1 year ago
The 2x Olympic goalkeeper opens up about her incredible story after the birth of her first-born. 6:34

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?