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"Do Both" is a proof that maternity doesn't mean to give up

Puma and Copa 90's documentary about Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir pre-pregnancy to back to pitch at top level path

Do Both is a proof that maternity doesn't mean to give up  Puma and Copa 90's documentary about Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir pre-pregnancy to back to pitch at top level path

"No one should have to reunicate to having a family in order to pursue their dreams, you can do both," the high-impact phrase uttered by Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, Icelandic soccer player, midfielder for Olympique Lyon and the Icelandic national team, and for the past six months also a full-time mom to Ragnar in the documentary curated by Puma and Copa 90 "Do Both" which captures nine months of the athlete's life, the last two of her pregnancy and the next grappling with the challenges of returning to the field at a competitive level after only five months off. The documentary, to be released on May 17 on all Puma platforms and directed by Copa 90's Lawrence Tallis, takes the viewer on an intimate journey into the world of Sara's pregnancy, to the boundaries of the social stereotype of motherhood and determination, values that distinguish the protagonist, a true inspiration for all women involved in competitive and competitive fields grappling with the expectations and difficulties that becoming a mother still represents in the world today.

For the launch of the documentary, Puma organized a live screening with the athlete, her family, and her team, Iceland, in attendance, during which we had the pleasure of asking a few questions about the experience and what it means to have a bursting career and be a mother at the same time.

 

Nowadays the conversation about motherhood is intrinsically linked to work, performance, and productivity, and when we talk about professional female athletes, for whom the main tool of work is precisely the body, this becomes even more complex. We talked about this directly with Sara, who told us how having complete control over her body for work has helped her regain her strength in the shortest time possible, for the sake of herself and her son: 

Before pregnancy I always knew my body quite well, I know what I need, I know how my body works. I always had to and wanted to take care of my body for me, for the races, and now I am taking care of my body for the baby as well. When I got pregnant I didn't know what to expect, my body has changed and evolved every day, my priorities have changed but I have continued to eat healthy both for myself and for Ragnar's health, and also to come back strong after pregnancy. It is crazy to experience the change in one's body, to go from an athletic state to total exhaustion, and to tolerate it I simply embraced the change in my body and started to listen to it. I loved my baby bump.

Sara's inner strenght shines through in the proud, focused gaze she has in every shot, both in the footage during gym training with her specialized coach Mark Jonson, or during the ultrasound exam.

The athlete's journey was full of emotions, a true rollercoaster, but definitely worth it.

Of course, I wondered if I would ever return to the same athletic form as before. Being a first-time pregnancy means not knowing how your body will react despite knowing it so well, it was frustrating, especially because every body is different and deals with changes according to its own capabilities. I had to pay attention to the way I was training even during my pregnancy, but after giving birth I readjusted quite easily to the old rhythms: after giving birth I lost weight immediately and as my strength in training grew, I returned to the intense rhythms and playing at the highest level, holding my biggest trophy, Ragnar, in my arms.

Thanks to the support and love of her family and partner, Sara was able to live her pregnancy peacefully, taking care of the health of herself and her baby, and returned to Lyon in January after giving birth in November.

Aware that she is privileged to do what she loves and have what she wants, Sara wants to challenge the social limits of what women can do, both to those who negatively comment her Instagram stories telling her to "go home and take care of the baby" and to those who are frightened by the few maternity protections available in some fields, such as in unrecognized professional sports.

"To have the respect, position and especially the protections guaranteed by a professional employment contract, which include maternity benefits-it means so much to an athlete. I'm glad that Italian girls are finally being recognized for what is rightfully theirs and we are looking forward for Portugal now."

With "Do Both," Sara and Puma have helped tell a story about a point of view that wants to challenge the standard, to show that things can change. In a hot month for motherhood, after Mother's Day and especially the criticism of Elisabetta Franchi in Italy who put the spotlight on a true problem in the job industry, the documentary represents one of many proofs that women are stronger than what they themselves believe and need to stand up for what they want, because they don't have to give up on anything, they can do both.