While watching highlights of the nail-biting match in which six-times champion Roger Federer struggled to survive on the first day of Wimbledon, Mr. Babe and I decided we knew why.
‘It’s parenthood,’ we concluded. ‘The twins have finished him off.’
Later in the women’s matches, we heard an aside from the commentator about how few mums had successfully revived their tennis careers after kids.
What’s going on, I wondered? Are parenting – more specifically, mothering – and sporting glory mutually exclusive? We think not.
After all every mum deserves a medal at least for making it through labour and delivery, not to talk of raising the munchkins.
Here’s a list of top athletes who prove you can raise both children and championship titles.
Trophy mums, we salute you!
2. Golfer Catriona Matthew made headlines after she won the Ricoh Women’s British Open just 10 weeks and six days after giving birth to her second child, Sophie.
3. Sheryl Swoopes, the only female athlete to have a shoe named after her (Air Swoopes) and to win a triple-double in the WNBA playoffs, took time off between championships to have son Jordan Eric Jackson.
4. Marathon world-record holder Paula Radcliffe returned to win the New York Marathon in 2007 just ten months after giving birth to daughter Isla.
5. Arsenal midfielder and England women’s football team MVP Katie Chapman earned more than 70 caps, taking time out to deliver two boys, Harvey and Riley.
6. Swimmer Dara Torres is a four-time Olympic gold medallist, US record-holder in 100m freestyle and mother to Tessa Grace who arrived just 15 months before her mum won gold in the US Nationals Championship.
7. Heptathlete Denise Lewis won the Olympic gold in 2000 and trained throughout her pregnancy and after the birth of her first child for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Nicknamed mother by the UK Olympic camp, she’s now a mum of three, Lauren, Ryan and Kane.
8.Canadian curler Kristie Moore famously competed in the Winter Olympics in February 2010 while five and a half months pregnant, becoming the third athlete in history known to be preggers at the Olympics.
9. US beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, returned to help her team beat Brazil a mere four months after delivering her son.
10. Sailing champ and new mum Sarah Ayton, one of the ‘three blondes in a boat’ who took Olympic gold in Beijing is targeting another gold in 2010.