For centuries, pregnant women were scared into believing that exercise of any kind could cause lasting damage to their unborn children. Confined to their couches or beds, many women existed in a sedentary state for nine excruciatingly long months, all the while fearing that the very bodies used for carrying their children would ultimately fail them.Thankfully, time shatters all oppressive taboos eventually.
Flash-forward to 2018, and medical professionals now actively encourage their pregnant patients to work up a sweat to reduce back pain, keep their digestive systems regular, reduce stress and improve their overall health. While many women opt to hit the mat in prenatal yoga classes or take a dip in the pool, some overachievers have taken exercise to the next level by competing — and in a few instances, reigning victorious — in the Olympic Games. Of course, most doctors advise pregnant women to skip the contact sports (like, you know, ice hockey) for the time being, but at a certain point, it seems there’s no stopping Olympians.
With the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics right around the corner, let’s take a look back at the amazing feats past competitors have accomplished while pregnant.