June 20, 2024
Serena Williams

At six years old, Serena Williams’ daughter Olympia is learning about the special role she played in her mom’s success story.
As any parent will tell you, kids are incredibly perceptive — and as anyone who’s paid the least attention to tennis over the past three decades can tell you, Serena Williams is one of the undisputed GOATs of the sport. So, it was only a matter of time before Williams’ firstborn daughter, six-year-old Alexia Olympia Ohanian, figured out that her mom might be in a league of her own.

“Olympia’s now at an age where she’s like, ‘Listen, I am wondering, why are you so famous? Mommy, how do they know your name?’ I’m like, well…,” Williams said in her cover story for People magazine’s 50th Anniversary issue. “I don’t live in the heart of L.A. or anything, I’m in a more quiet area where I’m very low-key, and I try to do all the normal mom stuff and all the normal life things.”

Nevertheless, Serena Williams is far from a “normal” wife and mother of two. At 42, she’s also a 23-time Grand Slam champion and four-time Olympic gold medalist, and has served as ambassador and campaign star for multiple major brands. In addition to eponymous fashion and jewelry brands and the recently launched Wyn Beauty, she is the founder and CEO of a venture capital firm specializing in female and BIPOC-led businesses.

Serena Williams
Serena Williams of USA with husband Alexis Ohanian and their daughter Olympia Ohanian Jr during the ceremony honoring her career following her first round win on day 1 of the US Open 2022, 4th Grand Slam event of the season at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2022 in Queens, New York City. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

But humility is clearly Williams’s strongest suit, as evidenced by how she attempted to explain her global renown to her precocious youngster.

“I said, ‘You know how mommy is a little famous?’ [Olympia was] like, ‘No, no, no, you’re really, really, really…’,” Williams recounted. “And I’m just like, ‘Oh my god, no, no, no.’ She was like, ‘No, yes you are. You’re a great tennis player.’”

Of course, Olympia also has the distinction of being part of one of her mother’s greatest moments on the court, as Williams famously won the 2017 Australian Open during her first pregnancy.

“I told her the other day that she actually was in my belly when I won a big tournament, and she was surprised,” Williams shared. “She’s at an age now where I can kind of open up to her a little bit more, and she can understand things more, whereas she didn’t really understand before.”

Helping a six-year-old understand a career as expansive as Serena Williams’ is something else entirely. While moms are typically skilled multitaskers, the former tennis phenom admits balancing her many roles has become increasingly challenging since her family expanded in 2023 to include daughter Adira, now eight months.

“It’s been really hectic to have two and then have all the brands,” she said. “I’m starting to sweat a little bit more because now Adira recognizes me and she puts her arms out; she wants to come to me, and that honestly is so sweet and so cute. But then Olympia, she’s six, and she still wants a ton of attention from me.”

Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., daughter of Serena Williams of the United States, looks on during Serena’s match against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro during the Women’s Singles First Round on Day One of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

“It’s definitely getting to be a little bit harder, but I love it. I’ve always loved a challenge; I’ve never steered away from hard work.”

Before long, Olympia might be building empires of her own, as, in addition to her entrepreneurial father (Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian), she is learning at the feet of a dynamic mother who happily encourages her daughter’s growing curiosity.

“It’s fun to grow things and show your daughter as you’re creating products, and say, ‘What do you think about this? Do you like this name?’ And then to literally have her say, ‘I like that name better than this,’ “ said Williams. “It’s something that’s really cool, to really conceptualize together.”

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