Belarusian athletes who returned to sport after childbirth

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Belarusian athletes who returned to sport after childbirth

Money cannot buy happiness, the proverb says. And even their amount is not important, local wits add. "Happiness is near. And it is smiling!" parents say sometimes about their children. Good news of the week: three-time Olympic champion and the favorite of the public biathlete Darya Domracheva announced that she is pregnant. What is more important: Hero of Belarus or Mother-Hero? Anastasia Benedisyuk was searching for answers together with well-known Belarusian athletes.

Olympic goddess, the Queen of Biathlon, the Rocket, "our golden Dasha" and the first female Hero of Belarus! From the stands of stadiums or near TV screens, we always watch her races, hold breath as the prima of biathlon approaches the firing range and shout "get down!" to tell the athlete from what position she should be firing now. Finally we joyfully watch her coming to the finish line first and leaving behind world biathlon stars.

But soon Domracheva will be 30. As they say, it's time to start a family... Moreover, her love story with Ole Einar Bjørndalen has lasted several years. So now, the queen and the king are waiting for the heir.

Ole Einar Bjørndalen, 20-time biathlon world champion, eight-time Olympic champion, six-time winner of the World Cup:
We will become parents and we are happy.

Who else are successful and titled moms in Belarus? Cyclist Natalia Tsilinskaya completed career five years ago. Multiple world champion, medalist of the Athens Olympics and multiple winner of the World Cups, she has also become mother of four kids! Masha, Anya, Katya and little Misha are all her awards.

Natalia Tsilinskaya, cyclist, Olympic bronze medalist:
First, you reduce training, then you stop training altogether and then you need some time to recover. Masha was born and then I returned to sport and my career was successful. But after that... Look at those kids!

She left professional sport but did not cease to be the coach and referee in her own family.

Lyudmila Volchek, three-time champion of the Paralympic Games:
She tells everyone that her mom is a champion.

Boating and skiing are her strong points. Lyudmila Volchek won three golds, silver and bronze medals at four Paralympics. Ludmila Volchek won the license to London 2012 already being pregnant.

Lyudmila Volchek, three-time champion of the Paralympic Games:
I went to the Olympics, when Nastya was already six months. I went to the gym two weeks after cesarean section and complicated childbirth.

Everyone remembers that union: tennis player Victoria Azarenka and singer Redfoo. They dated almost two years, but... no wedding, no heirs... The time after separation became the worst in Azarenka's career. But time heals. And here she is, in the top 5 of the WTA ranking again.

Dinara Alimbekova, winner of the Junior/Youth Biathlon World Championships:
This season I had little time to spend with my boyfriend. We need to understand each other. Sport is still first.

Dinara Alimbekova won the junior gold at the biathlon world championship. She won the domestic relay race in February 2015. Four years ago, at a training camp, she met her boyfriend, also a biathlete. Sport united the couple but priorities were assigned from the start.

Dinara Alimbekova:
We must first graduate from university, and then think about family, not only training of course...

Eduard's mother is Belarus' first female Muay Thai world champion. Maria Belush' started her first maternity leave already being a double world champion in Thai boxing and having silver at a kickboxing world cup.

Maria Belush, Muay Thai world champion:
When I gave birth I thought I would not return. But it so happened that I could not stay without sport. I dreamed about it nights and after 8 months, I returned. Then my favorite coach called me. And the soul began to play again! I wanted sport again!

Today the athlete is mother of many children. And, amazingly, she is still in the sport.

Returning to Darya Domracheva. She missed this biathlon season and of course will miss the next one. However, Dasha promises to return and asks not to speculate on this topic.

What can we say? Just listen to what the Hero of Belarus said long before getting pregnant.

Darya Domracheva, three-time Olympic champion in 2014, Hero of Belarus:
Olympic medals bring joy when you get then. But during the rest of your life, it is your kids who will bring you real joy!