Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks


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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby catson52 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:08 am

Up there with any of the names mentioned so far - Irena Szewinska. After the birth of her son (1971?) she repeatedly whipped double Oly Champ (100/200) Renate Stecher in 1974 - probably as great a season as Bolt in 2008/2009 in the sprints. And in the ensuing years she set completely new standards for the women's 400m. Still the only man or woman to be top ranked in the 100/200/400 (in one season - 1974?). Not sure about the 400m in 1974, but she should have been ranked #1, even if on one race, a true barrier breaker.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby catson52 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:37 am

Just looked at a clip of the 1968 Oly 200m final. Szewinska appears to be in about seventh place with 80-90 m to go. Two or more metres down on the young Raelene Boyle, some 5 m down on Tyus. Comes through especially in the last 30-40 m to win by 2m. I guess this was the true tip off about her greatness (to come) in the 400m.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby Powell » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:43 am

catson52 wrote:Up there with any of the names mentioned so far - Irena Szewinska. After the birth of her son (1971?) she repeatedly whipped double Oly Champ (100/200) Renate Stecher in 1974 - probably as great a season as Bolt in 2008/2009 in the sprints.


But the thing about Szewińska is that it took her a long time to get back to the top after childbirth. The child was actually born in early 1970, and she didn't gain another no. 1 ranking until 1974.

A bit of trivia: her son Andrzej Szewiński went on to become a pro volleyball player and is now a member of the Polish Senate.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby polevaultpower » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:04 am

I think it would be interesting to compare how much support various elite athletes had after they gave birth. An uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery can be recovered from fairly quickly, but it's raising an infant that can be pretty killer.

If an athlete had a family member or nanny that was helping out a lot (especially with nighttime feedings!), it's less impressive to me than if you had an athlete who breastfed the first year, did the nighttime feedings, and had to take the baby everywhere with them. It's certainly doable, and I am sure many of these athletes did!

We all know sleep is an important part of recovery. What happens when an athlete does not get more than 4 hours of sleep in a row for a year? Maybe that's just my life, good thing I am not an athlete :lol:
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby eldanielfire » Mon May 06, 2013 5:28 am

This thread forgets the greatest performance post childbirth of Fanny Blankers-Koen. 4 Gold medals.

A bit of research it appears a ton of Russians have Children prior to big performances, Anna Chicherova have a kid in 2010 before coming back to be world and Olympic Champion. Yuliya Zaripova had a kid before dominating the steeplechase, Tatyana Lebedeva, Svetlana Masterkova.

It seems much more common to have children in your early 20's as an athlete at least than almost everywhere else.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby norunner » Mon May 06, 2013 5:40 am

eldanielfire wrote:It seems much more common to have children in your early 20's as an athlete at least than almost everywhere else.
Well, we (Germany) got someone who couldn't wait. Desiree Singh (born 94), PV youth world champion in 2011 at the age of 16, gave birth to a daughter last year at the age of 17 and jumped over 4 meters a few months after giving birth.
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