April Ross, Alix Klineman celebrate first mother’s day as new moms – NBC Los Angeles

Being a mom takes speed, endurance and agility. So much so, it can exhaust even Olympic champions.

April Ross and Alix Klineman may be known to the world as 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics beach volleyball gold medalists, but these days, the world-class athletes are moms at home.

“Being a mom has just changed everything,” said Ross, a new mom to 6-month-old Ross. “Before volleyball was so central to my life; everything revolved around that. Now being a mom – that’s number one.”

As Ross and Klineman are getting ready to play together for the first time since becoming moms at 2024 AVP Huntington Beach Open in Huntington Beach, Klineman, a mother to 11-month-old Theo, had a harder time getting back into the game – literally.

“I was kind of like, ‘Okay, I think I might be done.’” Then April texted me and was like, ‘Do you want to play?’” Klineman explained. “I’m going to play with anybody at this point.“

Juggling hectic elements of life – taking care of a toddler and preparing for an international competition – gave them a new perspective, the athletes said.

“Before, we had to go to practice. Now we get to go to practice,” Klineman said. “It definitely makes us appreciate being out there. It’s our social time. It’s getting-out-of-the-house time. It’s me time.”

While the Olympic medalists won’t be playing in the Paris Olympics as there are not enough international tournaments left for them to bid to qualify for the Summer Games, their competitive spirit remained strong ahead of the AVP tournaments.  

“We want to do the best that we can,” Ross said. “We probably won’t be happy unless we win the tournament. But we also have to be a little realistic about what our expectations might be.”

Ross and Klineman are familiar with the Huntington Beach competition as they won the tournament in 2019.

“It’s anyone who’s local – it’s their chance to see the top competition before they go to the Olympics,” Klineman said. “All the top will be playing, which will be really fun.”

Before they put back on the pro athlete hats, they will be celebrating their first Mother’s Day and reminded of the love and support they received from their mothers, who are now grandmothers. 

“I just feel like she’s always been in my corner helping me,” Klineman said. “It’s crazy that that’s the role I’m playing for [my son] and future kids I have.”

Meanwhile, Ross is planning to appreciate additional me time for a bit before picking up motherhood and training again.

“I want to go and get my nails done.”

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