The model was announced as fronting Nike’s latest campaign last week, but received some backlash for not being an athlete.
Yolanda Foster has hit back at critics of daughter Bella Hadid, who was recently revealed as fronting a new advertising campaign for Nike.
Among the critics of Bella was Olympic gold medalist Meryl Davis, who tweeted a picture of the model’s advert alongside one of Kylie Jenner for Puma and Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman for Reebok and wrote: ”I'll take the one promoted by the athlete please.”
But speaking to TMZ, Yolanda said that Bella had dreams of competing in the Olympics as an equestrian athlete, but was forced to quit riding when she was diagnosed with Lyme disease at 15.
Yolanda added: "You obviously don't have to be an athlete to wear or enjoy Nike wear.”
The ‘Real Housewives’ star also posted a photo of Bella riding on Instagram and captioned it: ‘Always remember who you were before the world told you who you should be.... @bellahadid’.
Back in January Yolanda had written a blog post about Bella’s heartbreak when she had to give up horse riding.
"This was the biggest heartbreak of her life and an extremely sensitive subject for her," Yolanda wrote.
"She is resilient and focused on a new direction, she’s made a name for herself in the modelling industry while she struggles with symptoms of chronic Lyme every day.”
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Meryl later clarified why she decided to post the tweet about Bella and Kylie Jenner.
"As someone who has experienced just how hurtful comments on the internet can be, my intention is to promote the use of a diversified ideal of beauty and support the role I believe female athletes can play in the pursuit of that," she sad.
"I feel very strongly that all women should be represented in the media for young girls to see and my intention is to encourage inclusiveness. I am about women supporting women and building one another up.”