Curling teams are only supposed to have five members, but Canada is getting away with six this year. How? They’ve brought in Olympic alternate Kristie Moore, who is five and a half months pregnant. Moore is only the second athlete known to have played in the games pregnant. Ninety years ago Swedish figure skater Magda Julin won a gold medal at Antwerp while in her first trimester.
Although she has a pretty significant baby bump, Moore says her pregnancy has not affected her ability to play. “[In] the eighth month or so, that might be an issue,” she estimates. Curling is a cross between lawn bowling and shuffleboard played on ice. It’s pace is rather relaxed, but it requires a great deal of precision.
Moore found out she was pregnant just weeks before officials invited her to join Team Canada. Luckily the team was totally supportive. As team leader Cheryl Bernard pointed out, “she is young and fit. There’s no reason we’ll have any problems, and she’ll be out there.”
Of course, Moore is an alternate, so unless one of the other team members has a problem she won’t see any Olympic action. Like a Broadway understudy, on call in case she’s needed, Moore is always conflicted – as much as she’d like to get out on the ice, she naturally isn’t wishing for one of her team mates to be injured just so that she can play.
Team Canada is a favorite for the Curling gold. Curling begins Tuesday and runs through Friday of next week. Moore will receive any medal her team wins, whether she plays or not.
Image Courtesy of the Associated Press