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Mothers superior

Twenty memorable moms.

By GARY SHELTON
Published May 13, 2007


For female athletes, competing after having a child is more common than ever. Twenty memorable moms:

1. Fanny Blankers-Koen, track and field: "The Flying Housewife" was 30 and the mother of two when she won four Olympic golds in 1948 for the Netherlands.

2. Larissa Latynina, gymnastics: In 1958, Latynina competed in the world championships for the Soviet Union while three months pregnant. In 1960, she won six medals in the Olympics.

3. Nancy Lopez, golf: Won 22 tournaments, two LPGA Championships and was twice named player of the year after becoming a mother.

4. Margaret Court, tennis: The Australian lost the 1971 Wimbledon final while pregnant. Two years later, she won three of the four Grand Slam titles.

5. Juli Inkster, golf: Won 18 tournaments and four majors as a mother.

6. Sheryl Swoopes, basketball: Won three MVP awards and four WNBA championships after the birth of her son.

7. Evelyn Ashford, track: Won two of her four gold medals after the birth of her son in 1985.

8. Joy Fawcett, soccer: The mother of three played in three Olympics and three World Cups.

9. Yolanda Griffith, basketball: A six-time All-Star in the WNBA and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, Griffith has a 17-year-old daughter.

10. Evonne Goolagong Cawley, tennis: The Australian won her second Wimbledon in 1980, three years after giving birth.

11. Jenny Potter, hockey: Eighty-seven days after the birth of her first child, she played in the world championships. April 3, 83 days after the birth of her second, she played in another. And she has played in three Olympics.

12. Jacqui Frazier-Lyde, boxing: Known as "Sister Smoke, " she took up boxing as a 38-year-old mother of three and became heavyweight champion. As Joe Frazier's daughter, would you expect any less?

13. Marion Jones, track and field: After giving birth to her first child in 2003, Jones made the 2004 Olympic team, although she finished fifth in the long jump.

14. Vonetta Flowers, bobsled: She is the first black athlete to win a winter Olympic gold medal, in February 2002 in Salt Lake City, and she gave birth to twins that August. She returned to the Olympics in 2006 but did not medal.

15. Svetlana Zhurova, speed skating: In Turin in 2006, the 34-year-old "Mother Russia" won her first gold medal in her fourth Games, two years after her son was born.

16. Pat McCormick, diving: Won two Olympic gold medals in 1956, repeating her feat of four years earlier, eight months after the birth of her first child.

17. Valerie Brisco-Hooks, track: Won three gold medals at the 1984 Olympics, two years after giving birth (and gaining 40 pounds).

18. Taj McWilliams-Franklin, basketball: Has played in 10 countries and learned four languages, all after having the first of her two children.

19. Leah O'Brien-Amico, softball: Won the third of her Olympic gold medals in 2004, three years after becoming a mother.

20. Lisa Andersen, surfing: A former runaway, her focus increased after having a child in 1993. She won four consecutive world championships beginning in 1994.