Pregnancy can’t stop one Malaysian Olympic shooter from heading to London this summer. Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi is a pregnant 29-year-old who is completing a number of record firsts as she trains to compete in the 2012 London Olympics. The New York Times reports that Nur Suryani is the first woman to represent Malaysia in shooting—and she’s also the first pregnant woman to compete in the summer Olympics, joining only three winter Olympic competitors in the ranks of reported pregnant Olympic athletes.
According to Times, Nur Suryani realized she was pregnant just two days before she qualified for the 2012 London Olympics. Her next step was to convince Malaysian sporting authorities that, despite her pregnancy, she will be able to compete. Throughout eight months of pregnancy, her shooting records have improved, which she attributes to being permitted to keep her spot as a Malaysian shooting representative.
The Times reports that Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia has promised that the government will handle Nur Suryani’s medical care throughout the Olympics. The government will also arrange for Nur Suryani’s husband to travel to London to watch her compete.
Balance is extremely important in shooting. Nur Suryani told The New York Times, “One advantage that I’ve seen is that my stability increased—maybe because my gravity increased, my weight increased.” In a sport like shooting, a kicking baby can dramatically affect her performance. But Nur Suryani has it all figured out. She said, “I will talk to her, say, ‘Mum is going to shoot just for a while. Can you just be calm?’”
We wish Nur Suryani the best of luck at the Olympics!