Oh, baby! Pregnant curler hits Olympic ice

By TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

VANCOUVER — It’s not every day that an unborn baby gets to be in the Olympics.

But young Rock — or Olympia — got in a game yesterday.

“The team has been talking about different names and the names having something to do with curling or the Olympics,” said Kristie Moore, who curled for Canada while five months pregnant here Monday.

A good name might be Cheryl because the kid wouldn’t have been at the Olympics if not for Cheryl Bernard inviting mom to be the fifth for the team. Or maybe Cori, because the kid came in to replace Cori Bartel at lead.

“How about that. I get taken out of the game and I get to go into the history books,” Bartel said.

Moore replaced Bartel in Canada’s 6-2 beating of Sweden here Monday, a win that put them in first place and clinched a spot in the medal round with a 6-1 record and two round robin games to go.

That means they’re one playoff win from a medal and two from a gold. And it means Moore stands a good chance of taking a medal home.

“Maybe two,” she laughed about the unborn baby getting one, too.

She said there’s no new delivery she needs to learn. But she added that her heart pumps harder and the recovery time after sweeping is longer.

Moore became the third pregnant woman in Olympic Winter Games history. If she ends up with a gold medal, she won’t be the first.

Magda Julin of Sweden won gold in figure skating in 1920. She was in her first trimester. Diana Sartor of Germany was fourth in skeleton in 2006. She was nine weeks pregnant at the time.

“It may be a big deal that an athlete is pregnant in the Olympics but it’s not a big thing in curling,” said third Susan O’Connor.

Indeed. Anette Norberg said five months is nothing.

“I curled when I was eight months in the national finals,” she said.

Added second Caroline Darbyshire: “You’re pregnant, not dead.”

The baby has become the team’s unofficial mascot.

“We’ve had a routine where Kristie gives her tummy a lucky rub before every game,” Bartel said.

Luck, though, isn’t having much to do with what’s happening here. It was a battle of two 5-1 teams at the top of the tables. And it was a test of the Bernard team mettle, to see if they were worthy of playing for gold.

They’d lost the night before to defending world champion China. And Norberg is the defending Olympic gold medallist, former Olympic silver medallist and two-time world champion.

“That shows everyone else what we already know about ourselves. We’re fighters. We’re not going to crack under pressure,” O’Connor said.

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca

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