Let’s be honest, women have it harder than men when it comes to making it as a pro athlete. When I say making it, I mean making a living, i.e - making a decent income out of being an athlete. Top male athletes can earn millions in their sports, but their female counterparts earn peanuts in comparison. Then when they do make it, they have an important decision to make; to start a family or to wait until their sporting days are over. Plenty of athletes could tell you, including these 15, how tough it is to remain a professional sportswoman as a mother, first to have that break whilst pregnant and giving birth, recovering from the experience, then to get back on the horse and try and get back to winning ways. Spending time away from your new-born, being on the road, training – many women want to dedicate themselves entirely to motherhood, especially during the early stages, and feel all of this would take them away from that, hence they wait until after their sporting careers are finished.
These women though, managed it. They went through possibly the most painful biological experience the body can go through, and returned to their sport, continued their athletic careers. What’s more, after giving birth, they remained incredibly hot, managed to maintain their athletic figures and their gorgeous looks. Motherhood’s certainly been kind to these 15 athletes. Here are 15 hot athletes we can’t believe – and I’m sure you won’t either – are mommies.
14 Noelle Pikus-Pace
Noelle Pikus-Pace, the American skeleton racer, was kind of an unknown entity before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. She had however, been around since 2004, but it was Sochi that propelled her onto the world stage. She won the silver medal at the Olympics, but her time in Sochi will be remembered for a different reason. Her face began to get picked up when she was on the podium, beaming from ear to ear, showing off that beautiful smile, picking up that rare silver medal in women’s skeleton. She proved it’s possible to look stunning whilst riding the skeleton, but it very nearly didn’t happen. The whole reason she was at the Winter Olympics was because her husband cajoled her into going. He wanted her to get back into the sport she loved in order to help her get over a recent miscarriage. She did have two kids at the time of her skeleton triumph, and went on to have twins a year after Sochi. She was a mom of two at Sochi but there’s no way anyone could tell as she looked fabulous.
13 Gabrielle Reece
Take one look at Gabrielle Reece and you’d think that she’s a model. Oh wait, she is. With her model-like beauty, she’s taken the world of professional volleyball by storm. If there was one sport that you watch hoping to see beautiful women, it’d be volleyball, specifically beach volleyball, and Gabrielle’s taken part in both. She has two kids, and if you didn’t know it, you certainly wouldn’t have guessed that she’s a mom. Not only did she have to contend with her sporting career, Gabrielle’s one woman who likes to keep busy; she’s an author, a model, and spokeswoman for all things health and fitness-related too – all of that would be enough to make even the strongest, most resilient woman look seriously beat. But Gabrielle, at the age of 47 by the way, looks absolutely stunning, looks as good as she ever has; it must be that whole Malibu lifestyle.
Michelle Waterson is hot, seriously hot. She’s the darling of MMA, of UFC, although being the accomplished fighter that she is she probably wouldn’t take to kindly to being called anyone’s or anything’s darling. She’s a ferocious competitor in the ring, and a competitor in life too because she’s continued with her UFC career after giving birth to her first child in 2011.
Michelle’s always been known for her fighting prowess, but as soon as she entered the main stage, her face started getting picked up because of her looks too. When she returned after spending some time away due to her pregnancy, you wouldn’t have known she’d been pregnant at all. Her fighting was a little rusty, but in terms of her looks and her physique, they didn’t diminish in any which way.
12 Jessica Ennis-Hill
I just had to include Jess on this list. She really is the darling of British Olympics, and was the face of the London 2012 Games. During her time in athletics, she killed it as a heptathlete, but was also known for being one of the hottest Olympians around. Jess really was sizzling hot. She was beautiful – still is – had a stunning ripped and lean body, and had a physique that was just all-round perfection. After her home Olympic triumphs, the next big event on the cards for Jess was the 2014 Commonwealth Games. However, she announced she wouldn’t be competing because she was pregnant with her first child. She missed the entire 2014 season, but made a comeback just a year later.
She was very open about how she found getting back to that life incredibly tough, but looking at her body, you’d think she never left the track. She announced her retirement last year, but continues to make media appearances and is still reaping the rewards of a sterling athletics career.
11 Lea-Ann Ellison
Lea-Ann Ellison might not be the most well-known athlete on this list, but she certainly became somewhat of a celebrity, when she got pregnant in fact in 2013.
Ellison competes in CrossFit, which for those of you who don’t know, entails pretty much a bit of everything; high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics and much much more, so you can imagine that training for CrossFit Games events are going to be pretty brutal.
Ellison created a storm in 2013 when she shared pictures of herself doing Olympic weightlifting whilst heavily pregnant. The media storm was created and Ellison became somewhat of an internet sensation, not only because of what she was doing, the controversy it created, but because she’s a super-hot woman. She looked great when she was pregnant, and just amazing when she posted pics of herself and her baby a few weeks after giving birth. Due to her regimented regime, she didn’t take any time off, so was back in the gym lifting a crazy amount of weight soon after giving birth. She really does look like a model, and being a fitness fanatic has certainly helped her gain all of that publicity.
10 Lashinda Demus
Championship hurdler – one of the best there’s ever been – Lashinda Demus, is still running, still looks splendid as she’s doing it, and is still winning races. What keeps her going at the age of 34, even after having already tasted so much success? Her boys, she runs for her twin boys, because coming back home and telling them that mommy won is just an amazing feeling.
Lashinda can run really fast, holds records, medals, tons of accomplishments, and cleans up pretty decently too. She’s one hot momma, and hasn’t let the small matter of giving birth to twin boys in 2008 hamper her on her road to success. If anything, since giving birth she’s been running better than ever, because now she’s got two other people to run for.
9 Maria Kirilenko
Female tennis players generally tend to be quite hot. Don’t mean to sound crude, but the sport of tennis can be quite seductive; all that grunting, that tight tennis attire, and the beautiful, fit athletes in them too. And Maria Kirilenko’s got to be up there as being one of the hottest female players on the WTA tour.
There haven’t been many tennis players who’ve had kids in the middle of their careers, and have then continued playing. You all must have heard the hype around Serena Williams when she announced her pregnancy; she won a Grand Slam when she was pregnant, which is just ridiculous, but it’s yet to be seen whether or not she’ll continue playing after giving birth. Maria Kirilenko has though. After an unexpected absence from the game in 2015, she announced she’d given birth. It was all very hush hush, but she’s now a proud mother and will no doubt be looking to get back to winning ways on tour.
8 Carrie Smalls
The Lingerie Football League, now rebranded as the Legends Football League, is one of those sports that people tend to watch because of the hot women on show. People watch and they ogle; again, it sounds crude, but that’s just the way it is. But Carrie Smalls wouldn’t mind that though. She played for the Tampa Breeze, knew she had the body and the looks and never tired of flaunting her assets. She was actually a pretty decent football player too, having gained a place in the LFL All-Star Fantasy Team. But it was her looks that people cared about. When she did make the Fantasy Team, she actually had a nine-year old child. That’s something a lot of people find seriously hard to believe, because if you didn’t know, you wouldn’t have been able to tell. I wonder how that kid feels, watching his mom do what she does; it must make for some pretty interesting conversations!
7 Candace Parker
The Women’s National Basketball Association has been gaining momentum over recent years, has acquired quite a fan following, and increasingly more people are tuning in. These ladies know their stuff on court, and Candace specifically is a force to be reckoned with the Los Angeles Sparks. She’s achieved plenty of accolades during her time on court, and has certainly helped to make the WNBA a more high-profile sport; with athletes as beautiful and as gifted as Candace, why wouldn’t people watch them do their thing? Candace is a tiger on the court and is a perhaps a tiger mom off it too, wanting the best for her little girl who was born in 2009. She’s since continued her basketball career, and still remains to be a head-turner on the court.
6 Malia Jones
Here’s another professional athlete who partakes in a sport that’s pretty much known for its hot participants. Malia Jones is a professional surfer, and has been surfing for a quarter of a century. That makes her 40 years old but she certainly doesn’t look it. She doesn’t look her age, nor does she look like she’s a mom to three kids. It’s probably that whole surfing lifestyle, being out in the fresh air in beautiful places, riding the waves and basically spending most of her time on the beach. Malia’s certainly beach beautiful, is made for surfing, and boy to people know it. She’s also become a prominent model over the years, and a number of big companies have gotten her on board, such as Coca-Cola.
Malia’s also been on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, which just goes to show what a hot momma this beauty is.
5 Victoria Azarenka
This Belarusian beauty may not be everyone’s cup of tea on the tennis court. When she’s on tour, doing her thing, she’s not really preoccupied with looking glamorous, looking pretty for the cameras. She doesn’t’ care how she comes across, is all about winning, and it’s something that’s held her in good stead, because at her peak, she was number one in the world. But off the court, it and she is a totally different picture. Victoria’s incredibly down to earth, and also looks incredible – a combination that’s made her one of the most popular stars on the female circuit. But she hasn’t been around, until recent weeks, since the summer of last year because she was pregnant. She gave birth in December 2016, and remarkably is already back on tour. Still 27 years old, she has plenty of time to get back to the top, but it’s still pretty weird to think of the woman affectionately known as Vika, as a mom, because of her age, the fact her pregnancy kind of came out of the blue, and because she doesn’t look like she’s just had a baby in the last few months.
4 Melanie Roach
Here’s another woman who can lift a serious amount of weight. Read that she once lifted a staggering 425 lbs, and you’d probably assume that Melanie too, is quite a large woman. That’s how it tends to be with Olympic weightlifters; they tend to be pretty big people, as that weight allows them to lift more weight themselves. But Melanie’s anything but large. She’s large as in muscular, but at the same time she still maintains some degree of femininity, and it has to be said that she’s one of the hottest weightlifters around, considering she’s a weightlifter, she’s 42, and she’s a mom to three kids. Considering all of those factors, and the fact she made a return from back surgery, breaking records and still looking spectacular is a fantastic achievement.
3 Amanda Beard
Amanda Beard’s a former world record holder in the pool, has won 21 medals in major swimming competitions, and won the prestigious award of being America’s Swimmer of the Year twice. So, there’s no doubt about the fact she’s one of the best swimmers around, but a lot of people on the athletics scene, and outside of the swimming arena, have also given her a lot of attention, because she’s certainly one of the hottest athletes around. Swimmers usually have great physiques, and Amanda’s is one of the best. She’s got the looks too, and that’s meant that when not in the pool, she’s made quite a successful career out of being a model; even Playboy’s got her on board – she posed nude for them in 2007 – which just about says it all.
A decade on from Playboy, she’s married, has two kids, but still looks spectacular, is still modeling. She seriously does look damn hot after popping out a couple of kids.
2 Kerri Walsh Jennings
Unsurprisingly I’ve included another volleyball player on this list, beach volleyball to be more specific. Kerri sizzles on the sand and has been turning heads since she turned pro in the early 2000s. She’s tall, has endlessly long legs, is athletic, and is renowned for being one of the hottest players around. When she was teaming up with Misty May-Treanor, the duo was unstoppable and were winning medals and championships for fun. One of the gold medals she won came at the London 2012 Olympics. It was a remarkable feat considering she was five weeks pregnant at the time. No one could tell and it certainly didn’t affect her, nor has having kids at other stages of her career.
She’s had three kids over the years, but being a mom hasn’t slowed her down, and hasn’t affected the “Six Feet of Sunshine” in any which way. She’s still winning golds – the most recent of which was at the Long Beach Grand Slam in 2016 – and is still sizzling in the sun and on the sand.
1 Alexis Davis
There are actually quite a few mothers on UFC roster, and Alexis joined this group last year, choosing to put her career on hold due to her pregnancy. She’s ranked third in the UFC bantamweight rankings and had just come off one of the biggest win of her career, when she announced she’d be taking time off, away from the octagon, because she was pregnant. Her baby was born earlier in the year, but if she didn’t announce she was pregnant, seeing her on her comeback, you wouldn’t have been able to guess that was the reason for her taking time off. She returned to winning ways in April, looked perfectly conditioned and as hot as ever, as if she’d taken time off and had been on vacation, not popping out her first baby.