Serena Williams whose daughter Alexis Olympia turns 1 this week, made this known while speaking at a press conference at the US Open. Serena was speaking at a press conference at the US Open when she was asked whether she has thought about she’d be celebrating Olympia’s first birthday.
Responding to a reporter asking: ‘Is there a birthday party planned?’, the 36-year-old said: ‘Olympia doesn’t celebrate birthdays. We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, so we don’t do that.’
The disclosure is coming after it was reported that Serena’s husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, did not grow up in a religious household, but is now believed to be practising Jehovah’s Witness beliefs with his wife.
Serena Williams who spoke to Vogue last year, said:
‘Being a Jehovah’s Witness is important to me, but I’ve never really practiced it and have been wanting to get into it. ‘Alexis didn’t grow up going to any church, but he’s really receptive and even takes the lead. He puts my needs first.’
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe God is the Creator and Supreme Being, and reject the Trinity doctrine. They do not celebrate religious holidays like Christmas and Easter, and do not observe birthdays or national holidays, feeling that many of these customs have pagan origins and do not celebrate God.
Alexis Olympia was born on 1 September via an emergency C-section, but complications in the surgery nearly resulted in Serena’s death. Explaining the ordeal to CNN, Serena Williams said:
‘It began with a pulmonary embolism, which is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot. Because of my medical history with this problem, I live in fear of this situation. So, when I fell short of breath, I didn’t wait for a second to alert the nurses.
‘This sparked a slew of health complications that I am lucky to have survived. First my C-section wound popped open due to the intense coughing I endured as a result of the embolism. I returned to surgery, where the doctors found a large hematoma, a swelling of clotted blood, in my abdomen.
‘And then I returned to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from travelling to my lungs. When I finally made it home to my family, I had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed.’