From cricketers to WWE superstars to NFL players, many athletes got hitched as well as became parents during the lockdown. Let’s take a look at some of the sports athletes who began a new phase in their life on the personal front.
Hardik-Natasa, Virat-Anushka, Chahal-Dhanashree. Pictures/ Yogen Shah
When the COVID-19 pandemic brought their professional lives to a standstill, the sports stars focused on their personal lives.
While many industries came to a standstill, the sports industry was no different. Many tournaments such as the Olympics, Grand Slams, football leagues, IPL and others were either canceled or postponed. Most sports stars were confined within their homes and used this phase to spend some quality time with their loved ones.
Many sports stars went on to begin a new phase in their lives – beyond their profession. From cricketers to WWE superstars to NFL players, many athletes got hitched as well as became parents during the lockdown.
Let’s take a look at some of the sports athletes who began a new phase in their life on the personal front.
India’s star all-rounder Hardik Pandya had started 2020 with a bang after he announced his engagement to Bollywood celebrity Natasa Stankovic on New Year’s Day 2020. The nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24, 2020.
But a few months later in May 2020, Hardik Pandya and Natasa Stankovic tied the knot amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
On May 31, 2020, Pandya and Stankovic announced that she was pregnant with their first child. Hardik shared a post on Instagram.
Two months later, in July 2020, Hardik Pandya and Natasa Stankovic announced the arrival of their baby boy. The couple named their son Agastya.
The captain of the Indian cricket team and his Bollywood actress wife Anushka Sharma tied the knot back in December 2017 after a few years of courtship. But it was on August 27, 2020 that Virat and Anushka made another huge announcement about them expecting their first child in January 2021. Virat posted a photo along with Anuskha and wrote, “And then, we were three! Arriving Jan 2021 ❤️🙏.’
On January 11, 2021, Virat Kohli broke the news to the world about the arrival of their first child – a baby girl. In a tweet, Virat wrote, “We are thrilled to share with you that we have been blessed with a baby girl this afternoon. We thank you all for your love, prayers and good wishes. Anushka and the baby are both healthy and we are feeling beyond blessed to start this new chapter of our lives. We hope that you can respect our privacy at this time (sic).”
In February, Virat and Anushka announced the name of their baby girl – Vamika.
India’s star leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal surprised the cricket world when he announced that he got married. Chahal, who is famous not only for his talent on the field, but also for his fun and humorous side off the pitch, shared the news on social media. Dhanashree Verma is a professional dancer and a YouTube personality In August 2020, Chahal announced his engagement to his girlfriend Dhanashree Verma with a post on Instagram. We said “Yes” along with our families❤️ #rokaceremony.
Months later on December 22, 2020, Chahal and Dhanashree tied the knot in a traditional ceremony involving their families. Chahal shared a few pictures from the wedding ceremony and wrote, “22.12.20 💍We started at “Once upon a time” and found “Our happily ever after,” coz’ finally, #DhanaSaidYuz for infinity & beyond!”
The Karnataka-born cricketer, who was dating his longtime girlfriend Neha Khedekar, finally tied the knot with her. Due to the lockdown Chakravarthy was initially in Chennai while Khedekar was in Mumbai. However, the couple then got married on December 12, 2020 in Chennai in an intimate ceremony. Besides playing for Tamil Nadu at a domestic level, Varun has also played in the IPL FOR teams such as Punjab Kings (then KXIP) and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Foreign sports stars who became parents
The New Zealand skipper and his wife Sarah Raheem welcomed their first child on December 16, 2020 and also shared a glimpse of their baby boy. Kane Williamson wrote on Instagram, “Overjoyed to welcome a beautiful baby girl into our family.”
Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch
Unarguably one of the biggest couples in WWE, Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch have had memorable moments in their personal lives since 2019. Rollins and Lynch. In August 2019, after dating each other for months, Rollins and Lynch announced their engagement on social media. In May 2020, on an episode of Raw after Money in the Bank, Becky Lynch, the reigning Raw women’s champion, announced she was pregnant with her first child and relinquished her title to Asuka. Months later in December, Lynch and Rollins announced on social media that they became proud parents to a baby girl and named her Roux. Lynch wrote, “Welcome to the world Roux. You are the love of our lives.”
Bray Wyatt and Jojo Offerman
‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt is one of the most intimidating and terrorizing figures in WWE in recent years. Wyatt, originally known as Mike Rotunda, is a former two-time Universal champion and has been the highlight in WW ever since 2019. Outside the WWE ring, Wyatt and his partner Jojo Offerman welcomed their second child – a baby girl – in May 2020 and named her Hyrie Von Rotunda. The couple had a son in May 2019 and named him Knash.
Member of the WWE tag team champions The Street Profits, Dawkins has had a brilliant run ever since his debut in WWE in 2019. Dawkins and his wife welcomed a baby boy in July 2020. He shared a series of photos of himself, his wife and their newborn son on Instagram and wrote, “Welcome to the Fam lil home.”
The WWE superstar has been absent from in-ring action ever since he suffered a neck injury back in 2018. Jason Jordan, who had a brilliant run during his first outing with WWE, has been absent for over two years now. However, Jordan has entered a new chapter in his personal life – that of fatherhood. Jordan and his wife welcomed their baby in June 2020. The couple named their daughter Ava Rose Everhart.
Other notable sports stars who became parents in 2020
- The Miz and Maryse
- Nikki Bella
- Brie Bella and Daniel Bryan
- Roman Reigns
- Teyana Taylor and NBA star Iman Shumpert
- Russell Wilson
- Alex Morgan and Servando Carrasco