Bringing children into the Olympic Games: To be (there) or not to be?

Anne Marte Pensgaard, Norwegian Olympic Training Centre, Norway

Theme: Elite performance

Program ID: SYM-04

Presentation: October 3, 2013 8:15 am - 9:30 am

Room: Belle Chasse


The length of female athletes athletic career has often come to a close with the onset of motherhood. The combination of bringing up a child and at the same time conduct the amount of training necessary to be able to qualify and compete in the Olympic Games, has traditionally been daunting for most athletes. This has been especially challenging for team players who, in addition to taking care of their own conditioning and preparations, also has to take into consideration their teammates needs and references. One challenge is to juggle the day- to day encounters. A different challenge is to decide whether or not to bring your child with you to the Games. Especially, when the Olympic Games takes place at a different continent, this becomes a vital question due to the length of stay. The Norwegian Female Handball team has won the Olympic Gold Medals in the last two Olympic Games. In the 2012 London Games, there were two players who had to cope with the roles of being both Olympic team players and also mothers. The attitude and experiences of the Sport Association, Olympic Committee, coaches, teammates and, not the least, the players themselves are revealed and future recommendations are offered.

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