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2016-05-17 16:57:00 CET

More than sports - Next generation reloaded

How successful women bring miracles to the FIVB World Tour

Watch out, world. There is a new Brazilian beach volleyball team on the way! Two baby boys are expected during Rio – and both have famous mothers…

Maria and Carol proudly present their bellies. Credit: InstagramMaria and Carol proudly present their bellies. Credit: Instagram

Maria Clara Salgado and Carol Solberg, who have been playing together at the FIVB World Tour since 2003, both fell pregnant at the same time. For 28-year-old Carol, it’s her second child. Maria, 33, is pregnant for the first time. “It’s being so special to be pregnant at the same time as Carol,” she says.

Athletic as ever – like mother Isabel

It’s even more special how the two ladies deal with this pregnancy. Last week, Carol posted a video, doing a beach volleyball session at Ipanema Beach, Maria practiced with Emily Day and coach Loiola four weeks ago.


“My belly is big already and somethings are getting harder, but I love practicing what I still can, and I know it's going to help me to come back,” Maria says. 

Carol and Maria learned from mother Isabel, a popular volleyball and beach volleyball player, how to deal with sports and pregnancy. “My mum had four of us at a very young age, so she played for a long time carrying us around with her – we loved it,” says Maria. 

Maria´s first volleyball match – in the belly of her mother Isabel SalgadoMaria´s first volleyball match – in the belly of her mother Isabel Salgado

Another example for having her children around as much as she can is Kerri Walsh-Jennings. “This woman is a miracle to me,” Laura Ludwig from Germany once said about the three-time Olympic Champion, who brought three wonderful children into this world and still continues to win.

Children and Olympic Games – possible but admirable

“It’s truly amazing, what your body can do and what your mind can do,” Jennifer Kessy says. Daughter Aïla will turn two when the Olympic Games take place this year. Her 38-year-old mother, who won silver with April Ross in London 2012 is still working hard to get to Rio. She explains the issues between having children and competing at the Olympics: “If you don’t have children right after the Olympics, it´s like – ‘ah, you better wait a couple of years’.”

Jennifer gave birth in the middle of the Olympic cycle, but together with Emily Day, she is performing brilliantly since her comeback. In fact they rank behind the other two US-American duos Walsh/Ross and Fendrick/Sweat.

Always a fighter: Jennifer Kessy (right) Credit: Andreas Langreiter/Red Bull Content PoolAlways a fighter: Jennifer Kessy (right) Credit: Andreas Langreiter/Red Bull Content Pool

Maria and Carol also planned to qualify for the Games in Rio, but when Maria badly teared an abdomen muscle last year, they realized that they wouldn’t be able to fight for it anymore. “We started speaking about getting pregnant, because it was a desire that both of us had for after the 2016 Games,” Maria says. She experienced with her mum and with Carol, how hard it will be to get back afterwards and to manage everything. She understands why a lot of women think about stopping before having children. “I don’t see a reason for not coming back and trying even harder than before,” she says. That’s also what Jen Kessy thinks: “It is such a fun sport and something that you love that you just want to keep doing.”

Another beach volleyball team to fear?

She wants to pass this passion to daughter Aïla. With father Andy Cès, the professional beach volleyball player from France, and mother Jen, Aïla is a real FIVB World Tour baby, which has got the sport obviously in her genes. “We would love her to play beach volleyball,” Jen says.

Maybe Aïla will one day partner with Scout Margery, the three-year old daughter of Kerri Walsh. That couple could put the FIVB World Tour in fear and fright someday – like the Salgado boys.