Superwomen: Portraits Of Olympians ... And Moms

Aug 9, 2012
Originally published on August 10, 2012 11:29 am

When Jennifer Pottheiser photographed basketball player Lisa Leslie before the 2008 Olympic Games, she couldn't believe that the WNBA player was both an Olympic competitor and a new mom.

Four years later, she set out to find other American women who were juggling Olympic training with diaper changes, bath times and breast-feeding.

(For more on why this is such a big deal, check out Petula Dvorak's great article in the Washington Post.)

Pottheiser photographed eight of this year's Olympians in a combination of formal portraits and documentary images. A commercial photographer who mainly works with male athletes, she said photographing the women was a humbling and eye-opening experience.

"It was remarkable to me how relaxed they were. They recognized that when they step off the court or the field, there's a 3-year-old that wants to go to the park and doesn't care whether you had a bad game."

She was also surprised by how normal they seemed, despite demanding training schedules.

"Candace Parker was out walking her dogs at 7:30 a.m. and picking up poop just like everyone else. It's not the image you have of glorified athletes – they are just normal people who are the best in the world at what they do."

Pottheiser now has a newly vested interest in watching the London Games.

"I was watching Lashinda Demus last night, and I said, 'That's my mom, that's my mom!' I think that all of them are supermoms, and to see them in action was remarkable."

See more pictures of Olympic moms on Jennifer Pottheiser's website.

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