Is anyone else excited for the Olympics? The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea will begin on February 9. I pretty much become an Olympic-aholic during this time – summer and winter alike, so I am looking forward to a few weeks of Olympic watching.
Did you know that there have been several athletes that have competed in the Olympics while pregnant? This is amazing to me, because I certainly wasn’t in Olympic shape during either of my pregnancies. Okay, I’ll be honest, I’ve never even been close to Olympic shape, but especially not then. But, that’s just me. I know that lots of super mamas are still able to be super athletes while carrying a little extra special cargo. Here are a few of these super Olympic mamas.
Magda Julin – The First Pregnant Olympian
Magda Julin was a Swedish figure skater who competed in the 1920 Olympics and won the gold medal. At the time of the 1920 Olympics, Julin had only participated in one world championship – 7 years earlier in 1913! Just before Julin began her Free Skate, she had to change her music. The world at that time was still reeling from World War I and there was widespread anti-German feelings. Since Julin was planning on skating to Blue Danube by German composer Johann Strauss, she had to make a last minute change. She won the gold anyway – all the while being four months pregnant.
Juno Stover-Irwin – The Pregnant Diving Olympian
Juno Stover-Irwin was an American diver active in the 1950s winning medals at both the 1952 and 1956 games. Her first medal, a bronze, in 1952 was won while she was 3 ½ months pregnant.
Anita Spring and Kerri Walsh Jennings – The Pregnant Olympian Beach Volleyball Players
Everyone remembers American Kerri Walsh Jennings and her 2012 Olympic Partner Misty May winning gold on the beach in London. Jennings would later learn that she competed while in the very early stages of pregnancy. Jennings also won gold in 2004 in Athens, and 2008 in Beijing, as well as a bronze in 2016 in Rio, albeit not while pregnant. Before Jennings, there was Anita Spring, an Australian beach volleyball player. She competed in the 1996 games in Atlanta while four months pregnant.
Amelie Kober – The Pregnant Snowboarder Olympian
Amelie Kober, a German snowboarder competed in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver while 2 months pregnant. Although Kober didn’t medal in 2010, she did bring home a silver in 2006 and a bronze in 2014.
Diana Sartor and Kerstin Szymkowiak – The Pregnant Skeleton Olympians
German skeleton athletes Diana Sartor and Kerstin Szymkowiak both competed while two months pregnant – Sartor in 2006 and Szymkowiak in 2010. Szymkowiak won a silver medal.
Cornelia Pfohl – The Twice Pregnant Olympian
German archer, Cornelia Pfohl has competed in four separate Olympic games (1992 in Barcelona, 1996 in Atlanta, 2000 in Sydney and 2004 in Athens). She competed while pregnant in the latter two. In 2000, she won a bronze medal while in the early stages of pregnancy with daughter Mara. Her daughter Roselinda was born only 57 days after Pfohl last competed in an Olympic games in 2004.
Martina Valcepina – The Pregnant with Twins Olympian
Martina Valcepina, an Italian short track speed skater competed at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, while pregnant with twins!! And she won the bronze medal, too!
Athletes of all kinds are amazing people, and Olympians especially. But, hands down, I’m going to say that these ladies take the cake. And honestly, they put me to shame. What an amazing story they can share with the special children they were carrying, while competing in the greatest sporting competition the world knows.