Akinradewo is so happy to be back

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, January 27, 2021 - Watching Foluke Akinradewo return to the court and staying on top of her game after giving birth, it would be difficult to tell that the 33-year-old middle blocker suffered complications during her pregnancy. 

“I developed severe Diastasis recti from pregnancy, which is the partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominis or the ‘six-pack’ muscles, which meet at the midline of the stomach. 

“It’s been a journey and taken a village of support to regain abdominal strength and return to play. I’m still far from being fully healed, but I’m so happy to be back on the court competing once again. 

“Women are strong, resilient, incredible beings and I’ve been reminded of this time and time again as I’ve worked my way back to the court. I want my fellow female athletes to know that being a mom and a professional athlete is difficult and requires a great support system, but it can be done. And it’s an exceptionally rewarding experience.” 

Akinradewo chose to make her volleyball comeback with Japanese club Hisamitsu Springs, where she played for two seasons from 2017 to 2019, before taking a break to give birth to her son Olukayode Ayodele. Since the end of 2019, she has been juggling her work, family and recovery with great energy and with the help of the Hisamitsu Springs team and club.

“I’m so grateful for the time I’ve spent with my Hisamitsu family here in Japan. From the moment I arrived in 2017, I received so much love and respect. It’s truly impossible to give back the same amount of positivity that has been poured into me. 

“We’ve had our ups and downs as a team, but through it all we continue fighting together as a family. They all inspire me to work harder and I hope to take lessons I’ve learned here and apply them to my life even after the end of my volleyball career.” 

Foluke Akinradewo has many things to be grateful for. An Olympic medalist, she is also a world champion, wife and mother. Truly a strong, resilient and incredible woman. 

“My most memorable experiences in the last decade are participating in my first Olympic Games in (London) 2012, helping USA win its first FIVB World Championship gold medal in 2014, battling with my teammates to earn a bronze medal at the (Rio) 2016 Olympic Games, getting married in 2018 and giving birth to my son on Thanksgiving Day in 2019.”