Leonie Meyer gave up Olympic 49er sailing in 2016 in favor of studying medicine and switched to kitesurfing. With the announcement that “Formula Kite” will be part of the Olympic sailing program in Paris in 2024, the dream of an Olympic medal is alive again. Leonie is the mother of a son for a year now and is pursuing her athletic career with great determination. We asked her six questions about competitive sports and life as a young family.
Why didn’t you do it one at a time?

The time at home during the pandemic made it clear to me once again what I want in life. That’s family first, and secondly fulfilling my dream of the Olympics. My boyfriend and I always wanted to become parents at an early age, so that we could still spend a lot of time together with our children practicing (water) sports. Not all couples are blessed with having children as soon as they wish. Luckily it worked for us, and we are very grateful for that.

What does your everyday life look like now?

I’m usually spending about a week per month at home, sometimes less. Most of the time we are at competition venues or in training camps. Then my everyday life looks like I get up with Levi and Darian or my mum, we have breakfast and then I spend one training unit or two on the water. In the afternoon it’s mom’s time again, but then I often must work on my equipment, or sometimes I do a workout with Levi in the carrier.

What is your goal for this racing season?

I want to fight my way back safely into the top 10 and so far, it’s going quite well.

Mom, doctor, and athlete, how do you do that?

I’m not a doctor yet, as I still must complete the practical year. But since you must work full-time in the hospital and there you get hardly any days off, I decided to push the PFY after the Olympics.

As a mother and athlete, you must get by with little sleep, have extra motivation, be very well organized and have support with babysitting. At the end of the day, I’m a working mom with a somewhat unusual job.

How important are the Olympics to you and your family?

This dream has lived in my family for longer than I have. Back then, my mom just barely missed the Olympics in sailing. I hope that it will work out in Paris in two years. And then every one of my family contributed to it. This is our family project Olympic kiting 2024.

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