The worries a first-time Olympian can have on the day of competition are innumerable. Is her head in the game? Will that old injury flare back up? Can she perform to the best of her ability in front of all those spectators watching from around the world?
Olympic contender Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi will certainly be concerned about all that, but she'll also have a different type of fluttering in her tummy — the baby kind. The Malaysian air rifle shooter will be eight months pregnant when she competes at London's Summer Games.
According to The New York Times, there are vague records of past pregnancies at the Olympic Games, but Nur Suryani is likely to be "the most pregnant competitor in Olympic history." And, whether she medals or not, that's one record even Michael Phelps can't snag.
The baby's kick actually has the potential to interfere with the precision air rifling requires, but Nur Suryani hasn't encountered many issues during practice, and believes pregnancy has actually helped her stablity. With her scores continuously increasing all the way up to 396 out of 400 possible points at 10-meter air rifle events this past spring, she's got the potential to shoot her best, all with a baby on board.
Getting the green light to compete didn't come without a bit of convincing, though. Malaysian sports officials were initially concerned with her health and the demands of the Olympics, but with a doctor's okay and an offer from the Malaysian government to handle her husband's travel and her medical needs in London, she's well on her way. Here's hoping it all works out; otherwise, any gold-tinted gifts at that baby shower are gonna be really awkward.... (NYT)
Photo: Via Rahman Roslan for the International Herald Tribune/NYT