- US heptathlete Lindsay Flach competed in the Olympic trials at 18 weeks pregnant.
- She said she wanted to end her athletic career on her terms and show how capable women are.
- Active people can keep up their routines while pregnant. Moms-to-be have competed in the Games.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
As if competing in seven events over two days to test your all-around athletic prowess wasn’t grueling enough, US heptathlete Lindsay Flach added an eighth element to her performance: pregnancy.
The 31-year-old mom-to-be competed in her third Olympic trials last weekend, announcing the night before she is 18 weeks pregnant. As temperatures reached 100 degrees in Eugene, Oregon, the athlete completed the 100 meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 meters, long jump, and javelin.
She stepped off the track after 100 meters of the 800 meter race, placing 15th out of 18 overall.
Flach told Yahoo! Sports she got permission from her doctors to keep training after finding out she was pregnant. “My big concern was making sure that I was healthy and the baby was healthy,” she said. Had the trials been earlier, she said, she may not have been able to compete given the “bad vomiting” she experienced.
But her symptoms passed, allowing Flach to end her athletic career on her terms, she said. “Woman and moms are so strong – their body is very capable,” Flach told Today Parents. “You are the only one who knows your body.”
People can continue exercising while pregnant if they don’t have risk factors
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends pregnant women get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week, and says people who are already active can continue their routines with their OB’s approval. People with certain conditions like heart diseases, placental issues, or severe anemia may be advised to take it easier.
Several pregnant athletes have gone to past Olympic games: German archer Cornelia Pfohl competed in the 2004 Olympics while 30 weeks pregnant, Italian speed skater Martina Valcepina won bronze at the 2014 Sochi games while pregnant with twins,and famed volleyball star Kerri Walsh Jennings won her third gold medal while five weeks pregnant with her third child at the 2012 Games in London.
“Even these 18 weeks I have learned mamas need way more praise than they receive,” Flach told Today. “And are capable of way more than people allow or give them credit for.”