Four years is a long time, five years is even longer, and like the rest of the world, swimmers have gone through many personal changes since the last edition of the Summer Olympic Games in Rio. In the plus column of those changes, several active swimmers have seen their households expand since 2016, meaning their ongoing training is now a balancing act between parenthood and what they need to do in the water.
Here are the mothers and fathers (or those-to-be) who are juggling an active home life with children as the next Olympic Games roll around in Tokyo July 2021.
Ryan Lochte (USA)
American Ryan Lochte welcomed his first child, son Caiden Zane, in June of 2017. The announcement came while Lochte was serving a suspension from competition due to the Brazilian gas station incident.
Lochte’s family added another member almost exactly 2 years later, as daughter Liv Rae Lochte was born in June of last year. Ironically, Lochte was in the midst of serving another suspension when wife Kayla Rae Reid gave birth. That time, the versatile Olympic champion was serving a 14-month suspension for intravenous infusions in a volume greater than 100mL in a 12-hour period without a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).
The veteran Olympic champion ranks within the top 10 men’s 200m IM performers worldwide for the 2020/21 season and is 7th among Americans with most everyone out of the water at present.
Jeanette Ottesen (DEN)
4-time Danish Olympian Jeanette Ottesen gave birth to her first child, a daughter, in December 2017. Ottesen won bronze in Rio as a member of Denmark’s 4x100m medley relay and previously earned silver in both the 50m and 100m butterfly events at the 2015 World Championships.
In her new role as a mother, Ottesen spent several months out of the pool but has been chipping away at getting back to her prime now at 31 years of age. She made the 2019 World Championships team and finished 7th in the 50m fly final in Gwangju.
Daiya Seto (JPN)
We reported earlier this month that two-time World Champion from Gwangju, Japan’s Daiya Seto, welcomed his second daughter into the world. Seto’s first child was born in March 0f 2018, meaning the IM and fly specialist now has 2 children under 3 years of age while training for the Olympic Games.
Of this list of new parents, Seto is the only racer who has already qualified for the next Olympic Games. The 25-year-old achieved this via his 200m IM/400m IM double gold win at the 2019 FINA World Aquatic Championships.
Kosuke Hagino (JPN)
26-year-old Olympic champion Kosuke Hagino brought in the New Year by becoming a father. The Japanese swimming ace’s new bride, singer/songwriter miwa, gave birth to the couple’s first child in January.
The birth has already impacted Hagino, who said earlier this year, “I feel like I need to work harder now. I have strong motivation now that my child has been born.”
Hagino was set to tackle the 200m IM, 400m IM and 200m freestyle events at this year’s Japan Swim, before the Olympic Trials meet was cancelled. He is the reigning Olympic champion in the long IM.
Andrii Govorov (UKR)
In November of 2018, world record holder Andrii Govorov and his wife Daria welcomed their son, Andrii Andreevich Govorov. The 50m fly specialist stated at the time, “Yesterday I became a father! It’s an unbelievable feeling when new life is coming into our world!”
Govorov underwent shoulder surgery late last year to address SLAP syndrome. The 28-year-old has already been busy back in the water pre-coronavirus, competing in the Edinburgh International meet in January, along with the FINA Champions Series and the Ukrainian Open Championships in March.
Matt Grevers (USA)
Olympian Matt Grevers, 35, and his wife, former national teamer Annie Grevers, welcomed their second child last December. The couple’s first child, Skyler Lea, was born in November of 2016 and is 3 years old.
While competing at the ISL American Derby meet last November, Grevers told SwimSwam that he expected the pool to become his babyless sanctuary once again this time around, as it had been after daughter #1.
Yasuhiro Koseki (JPN)
28-year-old Koseki and his wife are proud parents of 2 daughters, with one having been born in 2017 and the other in 2019. As such, he’ll be in the same boat as Seto with a pair of toddlers heading to Tokyo should he make the team.
Koseki was the 200m breaststroke silver medalist at the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, following that up with Pan Pacs gold in 2018. He swept the breaststroke events at the 2018 Asian Games before finishing just off the 100m breast podium in 4th place at last year’s World Championships.
Adam Peaty (GBR)
The newest known baby announcement for an athlete most likely competing in Tokyo came from Great Britain’s Adam Peaty. The 25-year-old world record holder and his girlfriend are due in September of this year, which means he’ll have a boy just under a year old in Tokyo.
Of the impending bundle of joy, Peaty said, “I cannot wait to become a father and the challenges and joy it will bring!”