VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Curling is a family tradition for Canadian Kristie Moore -- so is being pregnant while doing it.
The 30-year-old never planned on that combination for the Olympics, though.
Alternate on the Canadian team led by Cheryl Bernard, Moore is 5-1/2 months pregnant, a rarity for an Olympic competitor.
Still, the curler says it has not affected her ability to deliver rocks on the ice, and she has the full support of her team mates on the highly touted squad.
“I‘m not real big yet ... I‘m sure months later, the eighth month or so, that might an issue,” she told reporters on Monday, a day before the Olympic curling competition was set to start.
Moore was a latecomer to the Bernard team. She was asked to join before the Olympic trials in November. At the time, she and her boyfriend had not even told their families they were going to be parents.
After being invited to join the team, she took a few days to break the news of her pregnancy to those close to her.
“Then I called (the team) and said, ‘Yes, I would love to go. However, I‘m pregnant,'” she said.
“So they talked about it and they thought that wouldn’t be an issue, so here I am -- I‘m at the Olympics.”
Moore is not the first pregnant Olympian. Swedish figure skater Magda Julin was three months pregnant when she won the gold medal at the Antwerp Games in 1920.
In post-pregnancy curling, Canadian great Sandra Schmirler took gold in Nagano in 1998, just nine weeks after giving birth.
Moore said her mother, Heather Thornton, curled up until a week before she gave birth to her older brother, Chad Moore.
“She curled with me too, but I was born in April and back then the curling didn’t last as long,” she said.
Bernard said Moore’s pregnancy has not been an issue as the team prepares for the big competition.
“She is young and fit. There’s no reason we’ll have any problems and she’ll be out there,” Bernard said. “She’s thrown a ton in training, so we’re not concerned about it at all.”
Moore’s due date is May 27 and there is some argument at home about which sport the baby, their first, will take up.
“I‘m really hopeful that it’s a curler, but my boyfriend’s a hockey player so he’s really hopeful it will be a hockey player,” she said. “So it will be the baby’s choice.”
Editing by Ossian Shine