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‘A mommy during the race and ... at the end’

Does lifting your baby count towards strength training? NBC's Hoda Kotb profiles three Olympians who are raising their number one fans.
/ Source: TODAY

Making the Olympics requires single-minded purpose and sacrifice. Athletes spend years training and traveling, often putting the rest of their lives on hold for their sport. But NBC's Hoda Kotb caught up with three American athletes who have made fulfilling their Olympic dreams a family affair.

Imagine doing this: grueling world class Olympic training in the middle of doing this ... [montage of mommies]

Dussault: He asks me: ‘Mommy, did you win? Mommy, how'd you do? Good job mommy!’

They are moms — and they are Olympians. You can find them on the ice, on skis, on the bobsled track.

Many Olympic athletes are kids themselves, but the few who have children of their own manage to juggle car pools, playdates, and, in some cases, midnight feedings all while going for the gold.

25-year-old cross country skier Rebecca Dussault skied four days before she gave birth and again two weeks after she had her son.

Dussault: I look back and I laugh. I was breast feeding up to an hour before the start. Changing a poopy diaper and hitting the starting line and off I went.

Rather than leave her husband and son behind in Colorado, Rebecca took them on the road.

Dussault: It keeps my life — so that my life is the same on the road as it is at home and I never feel torn apart from my family.

Five-year-old Maddie Potter is an athlete-in-training. MomJennie is the 27-year-old star forward on the U.S. women's hockey team.

Potter: The day after she was born she was at the hockey rink. The last couple years she's come out and skates with me when I'm training early in the morning. And she loves trying to shoot on me and score, so she likes hockey.

Potter didn't just have to lose the baby weight, but needed to get into Olympic shape.

Potter: It was a lot of work. I wasn't going to let my dream go by and the Olympics were only a year away after I had her and I wanted to be there.

2002 bobsled gold medalist 32-year-old Vonetta Flowers, the proud mother of three-year-old twin boys, says the hardest part of pursuing another Olympic medal is being away from them.

Flowers:I get emotional. It's tough being without them.

Their kids a constant reminder — that no matter where they finish, they know just where to find their number one fans.

Dussault: For me, I'm a mommy at the beginning of the day. I'm a mommy during the race and I'm a mommy at the end of the day.