Photo Credit: DPA/LANDOV
Kerri Walsh Jennings said her husband Casey told her, after the 2008 Games, that she gets a gold medal for each baby. But now she has three golds and only two boys. "So we’ve got to get work, and I’m so excited,” the beaming mom told me, sharing her plans for more kids. “I’m ready right now.”
Another baby and another gold are the next goals for this three-time Olympian, who's considered one of the best beach volleyball players of all time along with her partner of 11 years, Misty May-Treanor. "This is a dream come true," she added. "I have another dream that I want to have. I want more kids and I want to go back to the crazy grind and win a gold medal in Rio."
Walsh Jennings will have to pursue her dreams in Rio without May-Treanor. The 35-year-old has decided to retire, which made this gold the most special one "times 100," she said.
"I’m really, really sad because it is the end for Misty and [me]. Once I let myself think about that and be with it, I’m going to be a mess, I really am. But once I let those tears go away, I’ll just be grateful for everything we’ve done together."
With May-Treanor stepping aside, Walsh Jennings is forced to do something she has never done before -- possibly split up an existing team. She revealed that April Ross, part of the silver medal-winning team along with Jennifer Kessy, would be one of the top athletes she’d like to talk with about forming a possible partnership. “She’s a fighter and she loves the game," she said. "I want to play with someone who has as much passion as I do and dedication as an athlete -- and she has shown that she has that along with being a truly talented athlete."
But before thinking about a new partner and Rio in 2016, there is really only one thing the mom of Sundance, 2, and Joey, 3, wants to do right now: "Sleep, and I want to nap with my boys … If we’re together, I’ll sleep and I’ll be the happiest woman in the world."
Check out more of my interview with Kerri, who opened up about the "have it all" debate, her work with P&G to raise $25 million to support youth programs around the world and her Pampers' campaign encouraging kids to play and whether she’d follow in Misty’s footsteps and consider going on Dancing with the Stars.
On whether she felt pressure to show that women can be as great after kids as they were before: “No, I felt the inspiration and that was part of my kind of getting up and getting motivated. I wanted to do it as a mom so badly.”
On whether moms can have it all: “It’s okay to want it all. It’s hard. You have to juggle and you have to prioritize and you have to shift. Family always comes first, but if you love something, you’ve got to keep dreaming. And I am not done dreaming."
On her Olympic campaign with P&G's Pampers brand: "My boys have been so amazing and my husband, my three boys ... I am just beyond blessed and I want to work so hard to make them proud because they make me so proud every single day. That’s why I am really happy to be here with Pampers because it’s not just me ... After a while you start feeling trivial just being you all the time, and thinking of you, and Pampers allowed us to come in as a family and this is a family journey, and they highlighted that. That’s what I am now. I’m not just an athlete, I’m not just Kerri, I’m Joey and Sundance’s mom, and I’m Casey’s wife and that’s why I’m really, really proud of this."
On her relationship with Misty, whom her kids call “Auntie Turtle”: "A month ago, I was like, ‘Misty, we can’t just talk, we have to be in each other’s lives. I want you in my kids' lives. You are too special to me to just text once in a while. We need to make it a priority.' She’s like, 'Of course.' That’s what we do with family...It’s a priority, and it’s an essential part of life and she’s an essential part of my life."
On following in Misty’s footsteps and going on Dancing with the Stars: “Oh man, I’m not that brave or coordinated, but before I said absolutely not, zero percent chance. Now, I would think about it if they ever called me. I don’t think they ever would, but there are opportunities out there and you just have to weigh them. I want to be with my family, so anything that takes me away from my family, I have to think really long and hard about. But we want a certain life, and we’re willing to work for it."
Kelly Wallace, chief correspondent of iVillage, is in London covering the Summer Games. You can follow all of her live blogs, photoblogs and interviews here and follow her Olympic tweets on Twitter (@kellywallacetv).
The cost of Kelly's travel to London was paid by Procter & Gamble.