A wide misconception in sport is that female athletes cannot continue their careers whilst entering parenthood. Typically, many athletes who want to become mothers plan their pregnancies at the end of their careers. However, this is not always the case.
American athlete Lindsay Flach announced on Friday that she would compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the heptathlon - while 18 weeks pregnant.
She was spotted sporting a baby bump as she took on her rivals at Eugene, Oregon. This was the third time Flach was competing for her spot in Olympic team after previously gunning for the 2012 and 2016 Games.
But when she rocked up to the trials over the weekend, she posted on Instagram that the 'secret' was no longer a secret, adding: "Every story has an end but in life every end is a new beginning."
The 31-year-old had planned to chase a spot on the United States team one last time before starting a family with her husband. But when the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the Tokyo Olympics, Flach decided she didn't want to put the rest of her life on hold for her dream.
"It was bittersweet, I was really excited because I've always wanted kids, but it was also a shock knowing that just like that, my track career was over."
'' I knew I wasn't going to be able to compete at the level I was capable of 18 weeks ago. I just wanted to prove what women are capable of. To end one chapter and begin another on my terms was amazing."
She has been praised by women and expecting mothers all over the world for her strength, both mentally and physically.
People called her a 'great role model' and a 'hero' for not only taking on the Olympic trials while pregnant but also for doing it in the heptathlon and while the northwest coast of America endures some record-breaking hot temperatures. It was 43C at the event.
In Sunday's event, she managed to complete all the events at the trials however pulled out of the 800 meters after 100ms as a preventive measure.