Seriously: I haven’t watched five minutes of Olympics coverage (one, I don’t have television, two, I don’t have time these days to watch anything, and three, the limited time I get for athleticism I spend in my dojo). But I’m enjoying stories like this, and this:
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Even after nearly 20 years of skating and traveling the world with his ice dance partner Isabelle Delobel, Olivier Schoenfelder was never expecting the phone call he received from her last winter.
The good news: Delobel was pregnant. The bad news: Delobel was pregnant and the Winter Olympics were in little more than a year.
The petite, dark-haired Delobel and the tall, blond Schoenfelder, both from France, were world champions in 2008 and were looking like favorites for the gold medal in Vancouver after climbing the ranks for many years, an ice dance prerequisite, and finishing fourth in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy.
But a shoulder injury that Delobel sustained in December 2008 during an exhibition interrupted their season, and it was during her injury layoff that she became pregnant.
“I was still convinced we’d make it to the Olympics,” said Delobel, 31, in an interview after the compulsory dance Friday night in Vancouver.
The reaction from their rivals is a blend of admiration for Delobel’s ability to return so quickly and of sympathy for Schoenfelder.
Though Delobel continued to train and skate deep into her pregnancy, even suffering the occasional fall in practice, she left the ice in late July, giving birth on Oct. 1 to a son, Loïs, and then returning to practice in late October at their longtime training base in Lyon, France. She began three-a-day sessions and intense physical training in November.
“You better believe it was tough,” said Delobel, who had gained close to 20 pounds during pregnancy. “It was really a physical challenge, but I’m proud to have managed it.”
And she has every right to be. Well done!by