Mum Tora returns to international Beach Volleyball scene stronger than ever
Being a mother and having a professional Beach Volleyball career. Is that a combination, which could work out just fine? “Yes, absolutely,” said Tora Hansson who is coming back to the international scene at this week’s CEV Satellite in Laholm.
When the Swedish Beach Volleyball player Tora Hansson, 30, became pregnant last year, she asked herself if that was the end of her competitive career. However, when Elton, now 1, came in to her life, Hansson felt stronger than ever and the fact that FIVB and CEV allow players to ‘freeze’ their ranking points helped her decide she would try to continue her journey in the sport.
The role model for Tora has been Kerri Walsh Jennings, who is a mother of three and has a unique collection of four Olympic medals, three golden ones with Misty May-Treanor and a bronze from Rio 2016 with April Ross. Brazil’s Salgado sisters (Carolina and Maria Clara) have returned to the World Tour after having kids as well.
“I was at a turning point in my life asking myself if I should let my career finish or continue, but the fact that you are able to start where you ended with the ranking points you had before the break made me take the decision to carry on,” Hansson recalls. “I think other international sports organisations should consider the same action to encourage their athletes to continue their career with the same possibilities that we have,” said Tora, who in Laholm is entering her first international competition in one and a half years.
Tora Hansson feels like the pregnancy made her mentally stronger and physically she is back in the same shape as before the break. “I am much more efficient when it comes to training, more focussed than before. I don’t waste my time on stupid things.”
She also admits that it helps that the father to the child, Simon Dahl, was a professional Beach Volleyball player too, who represented Sweden at as many as two Olympics. “Except that he is a good father and takes very good care of Elton, he knows what it takes to be a professional player and to devote your life to the sport,” Hansson concludes.
On Friday, Hansson and partner Sofia Ögren lost in three sets to Germany’s top-seeded Kim Behrens and Anni Schumacher, but only after a close game, which lasted for 42 minutes (21-10, 17-21, 15-10).
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