I must say Olympic athletes are truly an inspiring group of people! Only 4 months after giving birth to her baby girl Lois, French competitor Isabel Delobel competed in the Vancouver Olympics in Ice Dancing with her longtime partner, Oliver Schoenfelder.
Although they did not medal, they did have a strong 6th place finish overall. In addition to the pregnancy hurtle, Isabel also had to deal with a shoulder injury and surgery last January. But, Isabel had no excuses, only a positive attitude going into the Games:
“My pregnancy went very well and my shoulder is fine too so I’m feeling in very good shape now.”
The French competitor, 31, and her partner Olivier Schoenfelder, 32, were the 2008 world champions. Last night’s Olympic performance in the Free Skate was the “Last Dance” of their 20-year skating partnership.
Training with baby
Their program for the Original Dance was the French Cancan and Jacques Brel’s ‘La Quete’ in the free programme.”We put our soul into the free programme which is like a conclusion to our 20 years working together,” added Delobel.
Delobel fought hard to lose 20 pounds of baby weight after gbing birth to bay Lois on Oct 1st. (She wed Lois’ father , Olympic-bronze medalist Ludovic Roux in the summer of 2009). Delobel was back on the ice just three weeks after giving birth.
She told the Washington Post that losing the baby weight “was the most work, the hardest work I did all my life.”
Delobel continued to skate while she was pregnant and worked carefully with her trainers. She says that she had to cut back on jumps and quick turns so she would not be in danger of falling. Her partner admits to the challenges of preparing for the Olympics with his pregnant partner. He told the Post:
“Of course there is some frusteration. You want to go fast and you can’t because you have to go step by step.” They also had to hold off on practicing elements like lifts while Delobel was pregnant.
Although Delobel didn’t win the gold, she has no regrets. She calls giving birth “the best event in your life – different than the Olympics. It gives me serenity.”