Top athletes: Pregnancy in athletes: create openness

Beach volleyball Olympic champion Laura Ludwig calls for a general rethinking of pregnancy among top athletes.

Top athletes: Pregnancy in athletes: create openness

Beach volleyball Olympic champion Laura Ludwig calls for a general rethinking of pregnancy among top athletes.

"You have to have a belief that a woman can come back after a pregnancy," says the 36-year-old from Hamburg. "There must be an openness that it works." Then you have to talk about “how childcare would be possible at the base or at the association”.

It was "little things that are not yet in the mind," said the mother of two, citing travel as an example: "Of course, we organized the trips ourselves. One or the other still asked: Why are you taking a taxi to the drove to the airport and not by train?"

After the birth of her second son in May, Ludwig is planning her comeback with the goal of the 2024 Olympics in Paris. She will start training again in September.

uncertainty and reservations

Marion Sulprizio from the Cologne Sports University sees uncertainty among many top athletes when it comes to pregnancy. "It always resonates with the idea that when I'm pregnant I can no longer do competitive sports," said the sports scientist. "There are still caveats. When you're pregnant, bandages still treat you like you're sick." In tennis, for example, female players would slide down the world rankings if they were pregnant. This could also affect sponsorship.

Tobogganist Dajana Eitberger also knows the situation. "Young girls shouldn't be afraid of the decision," says the 31-year-old. "You can consciously make the decision, I want to start a family, and the associations should support that." Two years after winning the Olympic silver medal, she had become a mother for the first time in February 2020 and returned to the World Cup a few months later.

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