The question of whether it's possible to combine top-level sport and motherhood has been in the news recently, with reports earlier this year that Nike didn't pay maternity leave to pregnant athletes as well as Serena Williams' comeback after giving birth.
An inspiring new documentary-style ad from Swiss running shoe brand On delves deeper into this issue by profiling Olympics Gold Medal-winning triathlete Nicola Spirig. A mother of three, she combines her training regimen with looking after her family (her kids call her "superfrau," or supermom). Shot in the gorgeous environs of Lake St Moritz, the film shows her preparing to compete at Tokyo 2020 and illustrates her belief that “you shouldn’t have to choose” between motherhood and a professional sporting career.
The ad, titled "Superfrau," was made by well-known creative director Andy Fackrell, who has worked at Wieden & Kennedy and 180 Amsterdam on Nike and Adidas. “I’ve been lucky to work with some of the biggest names for Nike and Adidas, but this was the first time working with an athlete who is also a mother of three. And one that’s been competing at this level for 20 years," says Fackrell, who's now based in Sydney. "The reason she’s so good is more than simply talent—being a mother has made her even more determined and focused."
On, a seven-year-old brand with offices in Zurich, Portland, Japan, Australia, Brazil and China, is a sponsor of Spirig. “We want our athletes to perform at their optimum level and uninhibited, knowing they have the full support of their sponsor throughout their professional career and even into retirement," says the company's co-founder Olivier Bernhard. "Nicola has mastered the craft of juggling motherhood with exceptional sporting achievement, and we are all in awe at her dedication and ability to be a world class champion inside and outside the home.”