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Pregnant curler competing in Olympics

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Have you heard about the pregnant Olympian? Nope, I’m not starting a joke – but instead making reference to Kristie Moore, an alternate member of the Canadian curling team. At 5 1/2 months along, Moore is just the third athlete known to be pregnant during an Olympic competition. From Yahoo! Sports:

Though she is showing… Moore says that her pregnancy has not affected her ability to deliver rocks … yet. “[In] the eighth month or so, that might be an issue,” she said.

The news got me thinking about pregnancy and the safety of competing in winter sports, so I got in touch with Stanford obstetrician Deirdre Lyell, MD. She told me it’s important to consider the details of the sport when determining whether it makes sense to compete; the sport shouldn’t cause the woman’s heart rate to rise above 140 beats/minute or carry a high risk of a contact-related injury. She said downhill-ski racing, speed skating (and, presumably, snowboard and ski cross, which the New York Times recently called the most dangerous sports in the Winter Games) would clearly be inadvisable.

And what about curling, a shuffleboard-type game played on a sheet of ice? “While there are some risks associated with any elite competitive sport, curling has a relatively low risk of contact related injuries and doesn’t have the intense cardiovascular demands of some sports,” Lyell said. In other words: Go, Kristie!

Photo by bensonkua

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