Kim Clijsters and daughter Jada EllieMoms in sports get a bad rap. You think the stage mother turned cowbell ringing freak in the stands who just won't sit down and shaddup so someone can hear the ump. But Mother's Day is coming, and in her stead it's time to shine a light on some of the coolest moms in sports.
You know, the moms who stay up all night sewing badges on uniform tops and getting grass stains out of soccer socks, only to then head off for her day job ... playing sports in front of thousands of people. They're the moms that the rest of us schlubs dream of being!
Kim Clijsters -- Being mom to little Jada Ellie (born in 2008) couldn't keep this Belgian tennis star off the court. Retired in 2007 to start a family at 23, Clijsters came back out with racquet swinging in 2009, earning her a spot on TIME's Most Influential People list this year after rebounding back up to Number 1 Player in the world.
Candace Parker -- One of The Stir's Sexiest Moms Alive in 2010, this WNBA player mixes super talent on the basketball court with supermodel beauty and a quiet strength that makes her a joy to watch. A mom who amazed us when she showed she was ready to ball just six weeks after giving birth, she's got the admiration of the fans -- her jersey is often the hottest seller in the WNBA -- and moms who don't give a whit about basketball too.
Justine SiegalJustine Siegal -- She's not just the first woman to pitch in the Major Leagues -- as if it that even qualifies for a "just" -- Siegal is the founder of Baseball for All, a nonprofit that aims to provide "meaningful instruction and opportunities in baseball, especially for girls." The program just launched an online component on LockerDome, meant to bring the “over 100,000 girls in the United States" who play baseball together in one space to help encourage girls leagues to grow. The mom of a teenage daughter, Siegal says it's a simple way to change the world: "If you tell a girl she cannot play baseball, what else will she believe she cannot do? But if you tell a girl she can play baseball, what else will she then believe she can do?”
Christie Rampone -- You aren't voted "the most respected mom in sports in 2010" by being a lazybones, and the former captain of the US Women's Soccer team is anything but. The mom of two is a three-time Olympian (bringing home two golds and one silver), celebrity spokesperson for a children's hospital, and a small business owner.
Kerri WalshKerri Walsh -- Two-time Olympic champ and 2010 Totally Sexy Mom, Walsh continues to amaze us every day she puts on a bikini and heads out on the beach volleyball sand ... after all, how many ladies do you know who are that brave after giving birth? Or that GOOD at bumping and setting for that matter?
Jenny Potter -- Think it's hard being a mom? Try being the only mom on the USA Women's Hockey team, as well as captain of the squad that just brought home its THIRD world championship in a row.
Jennie Finch -- A mom of one with another on the way this summer, TIME magazine once described Finch as the most famous softball player in history. Her gold and silver medals from the Olympics don't hurt, nor does her work with the Women's Sports Foundation and her softball camps!
Dara Torres -- A 12-time Olympic medalist, this swimming mom was the first female athlete to grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. And nothing slows her down -- she was 41 when she threw herself into the water to qualify for the Beijing Olympic Games.
Who is the coolest mom in sports in your book?