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Heavily Pregnant Woman Will Compete in Olympics

Not only will Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi, a Malaysian 29-year-old, be the first woman to represent Malaysia in shooting events in the Olympics,  but she will be eight months pregnant when she does it.

Nur Suryani’s biggest obstacle getting to the Olympics hasn’t been morning sickness and heartburn but the Malaysian sporting authorities, who were skeptical about her ability to perform and worried about her health. Nur Suryani was determined, however, and told officials, ‘I got the qualification, so it’s mine.”

What’s amazing is that her performance has actually improved during pregnancy, a fact that ultimately helped get her on the team.

She has competed several times while pregnant and each time scored a little higher than the last. “One advantage that I’ve seen is that my stability increased — maybe because my gravity increased, my weight increased,” she told the New York Times. This sport requires intense concentration, if not exertion. When she practices, she has a word with her baby daughter beforehand:  “I will talk to her, say, ‘Mum is going to shoot just for a while. Can you just be calm?”‘

Her doctor cleared her for travel and she’s on her way.

Her biggest fear is not about the pressure of competition but that the baby will kick when she pulls the trigger.

Though there are no definitive records, news reports suggest that there have only been three other pregnant Olympians– none as pregnant as Nur Sauryani will be. “For me nothing is impossible. It’s one of the challenges. If I abandoned it, maybe who knows? Another four years to wait, maybe I don’t have the opportunity.”

Nur Suryani imagines telling her daughter one day, “You are very lucky, you’re not born yet and you already went to the Olympics.”

I never thought I’d watch the 10-metre air riffle event but I think I might just have to catch this one. What a story. And what a cutie.

 

Ceridwen Morris (CCE) is a certified childbirth educator and the co-author of the pregnancy and birth guide, From The Hips. Follow her pregnancy and birth blogging on Facebook.

 

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