Daily Picture Show

Superwomen: Portraits Of Olympians ... And Moms

  • Candace Parker, basketball, with her daughter Lailaa.
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    Candace Parker, basketball, with her daughter Lailaa.
    Courtesy of Jennifer Pottheiser
  • Mickey Kelly, alternate for modern pentathlon and a U.S. Army captain, with her daughter Lily.
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    Mickey Kelly, alternate for modern pentathlon and a U.S. Army captain, with her daughter Lily.
    Courtesy of Jennifer Pottheiser
  • Lashinda Demus, hurdles, with twin sons Duaine and Dohntay.
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    Lashinda Demus, hurdles, with twin sons Duaine and Dohntay.
    Courtesy of Jennifer Pottheiser
  • Keli Smith Puzo, field hockey, with sons Xavi and Ian.
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    Keli Smith Puzo, field hockey, with sons Xavi and Ian.
    Courtesy of Jennifer Pottheiser
  • Danielle Scott-Arruda, volleyball, with grandniece Madison (left) and daughter Julianne.
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    Danielle Scott-Arruda, volleyball, with grandniece Madison (left) and daughter Julianne.
    Courtesy of Jennifer Pottheiser
  • Tayyiba Haneef-Park, volleyball, with son AJ.
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    Tayyiba Haneef-Park, volleyball, with son AJ.
    Courtesy of Jennifer Pottheiser
  • Laura Kraut, equestrian show jumping, with son Bobby.
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    Laura Kraut, equestrian show jumping, with son Bobby.
    Courtesy of Jennifer Pottheiser
  • Khatuna Lorig, archery, with son Levan.
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    Khatuna Lorig, archery, with son Levan.
    Courtesy of Jennifer Pottheiser

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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.

Danielle Scott-Arruda helps her grandniece Madison (left) and daughter Julianne in the bathroom. Scott-Arruda is a volleyball player on the U.S. Olympic team. i i

Danielle Scott-Arruda helps her grandniece Madison (left) and daughter Julianne in the bathroom. Scott-Arruda is a volleyball player on the U.S. Olympic team. Courtesy of Jennifer Pottheiser hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Jennifer Pottheiser
Danielle Scott-Arruda helps her grandniece Madison (left) and daughter Julianne in the bathroom. Scott-Arruda is a volleyball player on the U.S. Olympic team.

Danielle Scott-Arruda helps her grandniece Madison (left) and daughter Julianne in the bathroom. Scott-Arruda is a volleyball player on the U.S. Olympic team.

Courtesy of Jennifer Pottheiser

"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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