Serena Williams Opens Up About Why She Won’t Celebrate Daughter Olympia’s 1st Birthday

by Angela Andaloro

It’s been almost a year since Serena Williams welcomed daughter Alexis Olympia into the world. That moment of great joy also came with great pain, after complications following Olympia’s birth led to some serious, scary health problems for the world-renowned athlete. Serena has worked hard to get back into the best shape, all while enjoying the trials and tribulations of being a first-time mom.

With Olympia’s first birthday just days away, many thought we’d be treated to glimpses of a first birthday party, celebrity style. It’s almost become a rite of passage for celebrity moms to throw over-the-top, themed events for their tiny tots, but Serena Williams will not be participating. The reason? Her religious beliefs.

In a press conference surrounding the US Open, Serena was asked about birthday plans for the little girl. She revealed that as Jehovah’s Witnesses, she and her husband Alexis Ohanian will not be celebrating their daughter’s first birthday.

Serena Williams was glowing throughout her pregnancy. The world couldn’t wait to meet her bundle of joy.

Serena gave birth to Alexis Olympia Ohanian on September 1, 2017.

Olympia is the first child for Serena and hubby Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit.

Serena suffered through a series of complications during childbirth that could have cost her her life. Thankfully, the tennis superstar was able to pull through and share her experiences.

Serena’s been very open about her experiences with motherhood. She shares a lot about her life, and more importantly, she values what other mamas share.

As summer winds down, Serena finds herself in New York at the US Open.

During a press conference for the US Open this past weekend, the question of Olympia’s first birthday came up.

Serena informed reporters that there would be no celebration, and not because of the US Open. “Olympia doesn’t celebrate birthdays,” Serena told reporters.

“We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses so we don’t do that,” Serena explained, as members of the religion don’t celebrate birthdays.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that birthday celebrations have pagan roots and were once used to ward away evil spirits with the presence of loved ones, as explained on

Since magic and divination are condemned by the Bible, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not partake in such celebrations.

Serena discussed rediscovering the religion with her husband in her September 2017 interview with Vogue.

She told the magazine, “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 has supported her to that end, and it’s one of the many things she loves about him. Serena explained, “Alexis didn’t grow up going to any church, but he’s really receptive and even takes the lead. He puts my needs first.”

Although there won’t be balloons and cake, we’re sure that the milestone will be just as special for Serena and Alexis as it is for any parent. Olympia is such a sunny, beautiful girl, and we can’t wait to see whom she takes after as she grows!