Her sponsors are creating a custom suit to accommodate her pregnancy
Dana Vollmer notched up five gold medals while competing in three Olympics, so competing in the 2017 Arena Pro Swim Series in Mesa, Arizona, later this month may not serve as the largest stage she’s ever competed on, but it may ultimately garner more attention than any of her earlier trips to the gold medal podium.
Vollmer is expecting her second child in July, so she’ll be competing in the meet’s 50-meter freestyle contest while 24 weeks pregnant. As if that wasn’t noteworthy enough, Vollmer has garnered gold butterfly, freestyle, and medley medals, but she’s never won a major 50-meter freestyle competition.
None of that seems to dissuade Dana, who has been tracking her effort and progress on her website, Momma on a Mission. Her doctors have given her the green light to continue her intense training regimen prior to the event, and the noteworthy difference in her approach is that her swimsuit sponsor, Tyr, is making a custom suit for her to accommodate her growing belly as the race approaches.
While Vollmer’s undertaking is certainly impressive, given the circumstances, it’s not without precedent. Alysia Montaño, a five-time national champion, ran the 800-meter while 34 weeks pregnant. She finished last in her heat and a substantial 35 seconds off her personal best, just weeks before giving birth. Here she is discussing her finish:
It’s a safe bet that an athlete of Vollmer’s pedigree isn’t just doing this to prove a point or for the novelty of it. Her five gold medals tell us that she’s an athlete who expects to win. She’ll be facing a new challenge in a few weeks.