Carolina (left) and Maria-Clara plan to return to playing once they've given birth
Lausanne, Switzerland, May 18, 2016 – The year ahead is set to be a memorable one for the Salgado family, one of beach volleyball and volleyball’s biggest dynasties.
While brother Pedro will be chasing Olympic glory at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, his sisters – Maria Clara and Carolina – are planning on new additions to the family as both are pregnant.
For the 28-year-old Carolina the child will be her second, but for Maria Clara, 33, the new arrival will be her first and they are already planning for their return to playing by training on Ipanema Beach.
“My belly is big already and somethings are getting harder, but I love practicing while I still can and I know it's going to help me to come back.”
Maria-Clara has played on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour since 2000, the year she first made her name by winning the FIVB U21 World Championships alongside Sharylyn Bede.
In 2003 she and Carolina won bronze at the U21 world champs and the younger of the pair added an U21 gold and U19 silver before she and Maria-Clara made their World Tour debut as a team at the 2004 Rio de Janeiro Open.
Apart from a break in 2012 when Carolina was pregnant for the first time they have played the vast majority of their careers as a duo. The greatest success came in 2013 when they ended their long wait for a World Tour gold by topping the podium at the Moscow Grand Slam and they also claimed two silvers and three bronze.
When they do return to the court they will join the likes of triple Olympic champion Kerri Walsh and London 2012 silver medallist Jennifer Kessy in juggling their responsibilities as a mother with those of a beach volleyball player.
If they need any further inspiration they can turn to a very familiar figure, their own mother Isabel who gave birth to four children during her volleyball and beach volleyball career.
“My mum had four of us at a very young age,” Maria-Clara said. “So she played for a long time carrying us around with her – we loved it.”