LIVE

"I just want to hang out with my family," the Olympian tells PEOPLE

By peoplestaff225
Updated December 03, 2020 01:50 AM
Advertisement
Kerri Walsh Jennings


Ray Tamarra/GC

Kerri Walsh Jennings is a gold medal mom.

Not only has she taken home the top award for women’s beach volleyball in the last three Summer Olympics, but she also works hard to be fully present in her three children’s lives.

“I’m in love with them,” Walsh Jennings tells PEOPLE. “They have made my life more beautiful and more meaningful than I ever thought possible.”

She credits her ability to balance being a pro athlete and mom to sons Joey, 5, and Sundance, 4, and daughter Scout, 2, (who Walsh Jennings laughingly says is “the most intimidating woman I’ve ever met in my life”) to the support she receives from her husband Casey Jennings, also an Olympic beach volleyball player.

“He’s the most amazing man. He’s literally the best daddy I’ve ever seen in my life,” she says. “I leave them all the time and he handles three kids under 6 with no problem, without blinking an eye.”

Jennings is “a champ,” his wife says, and they treat parenting as a partnership.

“We have a team mindset. I definitely know what I’m signed up for, I’m expecting crazy and I just have a great support system around me with my husband at the lead,” Walsh Jennings says. “Success in life comes from surrounding yourself by great people, and I have that on the court and off the court.”

So what are this super-mom’s plans for Mother’s Day?

“Ideally, it’s sleeping in!” she says. “That would be my dream and I think that will be what I ask for.”

She continues, “I just want to hang out with my family. I travel so much with my job and any weekend at home is a beautiful weekend.”

Walsh Jennings will also be celebrating her own mother on Sunday. She recently partnered with Tempur-Pedic for their mom-centered campaign, “You’re Important. Sleep Like It” — see the video she guarantees will make you cry here — and will be gifting her mother with a brand new mattress.

“All moms want to be the best role models for their kids — I certainly do, and sleep needs to be a huge priority. I am a better mother when I have a good night’s sleep,” the Olympian says. “The partnership speaks to me as a mommy, it speaks to me as an athlete, because if I’m not getting a good night’s sleep, I’m not gonna beat the world, which I need to beat, and I’m not gonna have the patience to deal with my kids, who are crazy sometimes, in the best ways.”

Walsh Jennings definitely needs as much rest as possible as she prepares to defend her gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

“[Partner April Ross and I] are working our butts off,” she says. “My trainers off the court are amazing and each one of them are making me very uncomfortable every single day in order to make me better. I love it, it’s been a really fun journey.”

As for whether she and Jennings will have a fourth child, Walsh Jennings says never say never.

“I have a gold medal to win, and then I would love that with all my heart,” she says with a smile. “I always thought four, so we’ll see.”

She adds, “My husband would love that, our kids would love that. I don’t know about Scout, I haven’t talked to her about it yet, but I think she could share!”

— Andrea Park