“I’m not injured or deadly sick!” – Pregnancy And Elite Skiers

…There is huge document resulting from the International Olympic Committee expert group meeting last year called “Exercise and pregnancy in recreational and elite athletes: 2016 evidence summary from”.
It deals with about every aspect of physical training during pregnancy (and after)
and states rather unequivocally that.

…In more highly conditioned athletes, a moderate-to-high level of exercise during and after pregnancy may lead to an increase in VO2max in the region of 5–10% after pregnancy. Improved anaerobic working capacity is also better preserved in fitter subjects. Taken together, these studies indicate that a woman’s aerobic fitness will stay the same or improve slightly during pregnancy if she continues to exercise as her maternal symptoms permit.

Armed with that science, leading female skiers refuse to give up on exercising while expecting.

The most famous mom-to-be on social media was/is, likely, Kikkan Randall. An American, who was at the time a reigning World champion in team sprint, repeatedly said that regular training sessions made her pregnancy easier.

Aino-Kaisa Saarinen from Finland, another World champion, was expecting a baby at the same time ad Randall. While Kikkan decided to stay out of the competitions during pregnancy, Saarinen opted to continue racing at the World Cup level, being 3-4 months pregnant – before registering her career-first DNF (did-not-finish). “My body is telling me it is time”, – Saarinen simply said back then – but she continued training almost till her due-date.

Slovenian Katja Visnar also spent her 9 months on skis. There was a photo in training 4 days before the actual labour.

Norwegian Kristin Stoermer Steira had an endurance challenge of a rather different kind. The Olympic Champion found out that she is pregnant right when she just agreed to take part in the TV-show “Shall We Dance?” (“Skal vi danse?”). Steira “soldiered on” for 5 episodes of the show.

Ex-Team Sverige Sanna Hallberg woke up a social media star one morning during her pregnancy. The day before Hallberg was approached at her gym by an elderly gentleman who asked: “Should you really be here in your condition?”

Sanna wrote an angry post in her Instagram: “I’m not injured or deadly sick!” . Support comments poured in right away, including those from the fellow ski-moms: Britta Johansson-Norgren, Chandra Crawford and an ex-biathlete Helena Ekholm.

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