By Heidi Stevens
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Thousands of fans swooped in with support for Serena Williams after she tweeted about missing her baby’s first steps.
Two days before facing Russian Evgeniya Rodina at Wimbledon, Serena Williams tweeted the most human of messages.
“She took her first steps … I was training and missed it. I cried.”
“She,” of course, is 10-month-old Olympia, Serena’s daughter with husband Alexis Ohanian.
A year ago, Williams was still pregnant. On Monday, she beat Rodina in her eighth singles title at Wimbledon. (I walk/jogged the Bucktown 5k two weeks after my daughter’s first birthday and pretty much wouldn’t shut up about it for six months.)
But Williams isn’t like us mere mortals. She’s among the greatest athletes of all time, and she continues to prove as much, even after naysayers wrote her off as all but retired when she announced her pregnancy.
As if that weren’t enough, she continually uses her platform, particularly social media, to encourage others who may be feeling underestimated.
“2 days until #Wimbledon,” she tweeted June 30. “Just in case no one’s told you yet today, I want to remind you that you are greater than your circumstances.”
“1 day until #Wimbledon,” she tweeted the next day, with a photo of her winning her 22nd Grand Slam title. “In this moment, 22 was the greatest feeling, but ultimately getting to 23 was even better. Never let anyone put a limit on how far you can go.”
So when she sent up a working-parent flare on Saturday, she walked; I missed it, it was wonderful to see her fans swoop in with support.
“Ah Serena,” ESPN reporter Alison Bender replied, “I’m with you there. I’m in Russia at a World Cup. I watched mine take her first steps on a video. She’ll be proud of you when she grows up (I have to keep telling myself).”