Pregnant Olympian Nur Suryani Breaks Records
Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi didn’t advance to the finals of the 10-meter air rifle competition last Saturday. However, the accomplished mom-to-be is going home with the knowledge that she had made a mark in the 2012 Olympics as the “most pregnant Olympian ever.”
The first time mother and Olympian shooter from Malaysia is 8 months pregnant which is a first in Olympic history.
With the novelty of her condition, Suryani has learned to talk to her daughter before her shots.
“I talked to her before shooting,” the mom explained. “I told her, OK, don’t move so much, behave yourself, Mommy’s ready to shoot, help Mommy to shoot.”
“I feel only three or four kicks today during the competition,” she added. “She always listens.”
With Suryani’s determination and poise about her pregnancy, it is Suryani’s husband who’s anxious and stressed.
Suryani recounted the conversation with her frazzled spouse, “He said, you better go for a caesarian. I don’t want you screaming in pain. I don’t want to see you like that, or else I will kick the doctor.”
However, to say that her pregnancy has no effect on her performance is to ignore the elephant in the room. “The problem during pregnancy is your resting heart rate goes up,” explained Dr. Jim Pivarnik. “Let’s say it’s 65 before pregnancy, it could easily be 80 at eight months. So that gives much less time between beats to fire a shot.”
“The center of gravity in a pregnant woman is definitely a bit lower, there’s no doubt about that,” he also added.
However, Suryani is not using her baby bump as an excuse for her less-than stellar performance ( She placed 34th out of 56 shooters). “I have two hearts, so maybe I’m stronger,” the proud mom said.
So Suryani is heading back home to Malaysia to welcome her baby daughter, Dayana Widyan. And once her little girl is in her arms, she only hopes to tell her “that there’s many challenges I had to face to bring you to London, and you were in the Olympics before you were born!”