Combining motherhood with comeback hard but doable, says Olympic shooting champion Kateřina Emmons


The Czech shooter Kateřina Emmons made headlines around the world in August 2008 when she won the first gold medal at the last Olympics in Beijing. Since then she and her husband Matt – also one of the world’s leading shooters – have had their first child, a girl named Julie. Right now Kateřina Emmons is home in the Czech Republic, ahead of the start of the season. When we spoke, I asked her how she had found returning to competition since having a baby.

“It is sometimes quite difficult, I have to say, especially for time planning and finding enough time for training and things like that. But it’s doable, with good planning. I have to cut on my training time some, because I can’t focus that long any more. My body’s still recovering from the delivery and I have to adjust to all these things – but it’s doable.”

Kateřina Emmons, photo: CTKKateřina Emmons, photo: CTK How does returning after such a break in shooting compare to in other sports?

“I think with shooting it’s easier. It might be the same maybe for a soccer goalie, because it’s in the head mainly. You’ve got to have the technique and your skills…I didn’t lose any of those things and those are really important – now I just have to build up my endurance.”

In practical terms how does it work combining motherhood with training?

“Like I said, it’s all about planning and for me it’s a lot of fun. I think it is for the little one too – I think it’s good for because she’s with other people. Dad takes care of her for half the day and maybe sometimes other people are taking care of her, and she’s used to other people. She’s having a lot of fun maybe with other kids, she’s having fun…”

Do you mind me asking, do you speak Czech and does your husband speak English with your child?

“Yes. We both agreed that we’d speak our native language to our child, so she doesn’t lose anything.”

Getting back to the sporting side of things, what are the main events coming up for you this year?

“Well this year we have a couple of World Cups – one is in Sydney and the other is in Belgrade. The main thing is preparing for the World Championship, which is at the end of July in Munich. That’s the main thing that all the preparation is going to.”

Kateřina Emmons with her husband Matthew, photo: CTKKateřina Emmons with her husband Matthew, photo: CTK I know now you’re home in the Czech Republic for a while. Before you came home, what were you most looking forward to?

“Typical Czech things…of course, apart from my family, I’m not even mentioning that, that’s just understood. But rolls, Czech rolls. I miss those.”

Bread rolls?

“Bread rolls, yeah.”