On Saturday, athlete Lindsay Flach announced via Instagram that she is eighteen weeks pregnant just a day before competing in the heptathlon at the U.S. Olympic trials.
The thirty-one-year-old previously competed at the 2012 and 2016 heptathlon Olympic trials. But this year's competition was a little different because this time, she could be seen showing off her baby bump.
The heptathlon is arguably one of the most challenging events, featuring 7 varied competitions: the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter sprint, long jump, javelin throw, and 800-meter run. It's the ultimate test of skill covering a whole range of athletics disciplines.
We can't even imagine the skill it must take to put your body under that much pressure while pregnant!
The trials took place on Sunday during a record-breaking heatwave at the track facility in Oregon. Seeing temperatures sky-rocket, officials had no other option but to delay competitions until later on that evening.
"The secret is no secret anymore," Flach wrote on Instagram, "Every story has an end but in life, every end is a new beginning."
She was supposed to bid farewell to the heptathlon this 2020 season but wanted to make one last push to get onto the U.S. Olympic team before marrying her boyfriend and settling down.
To prepare for the competition, Flach quit her job and moved nearly 250 miles to train at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She planned to stay there up until the U.S. Olympic Trials. However, the coronavirus outbreak stunted her plans just 3 months into training.
It was at this point that Flach decided not to put her life on hold, and after returning home, Flach and her husband began trying for a baby despite hurting her chances of qualifying for the Olympics.
But it didn't stop her from competing...
Flach has been praised on social media by fans, calling her a "great role model," a "badass" and a "hero."
"I got emotional and cried watching you compete," wrote one fan on Instagram. "So happy to see an expecting mother compete at such an elite level! What a story to tell your baby."
Another commented: "As someone that is 21 weeks pregnant and gets winded walking up the stairs - I am in AWE of you! Literally AMAZING!"
While a third fan wrote: "I'm eighteen weeks tomorrow! Thanks for providing today's workout inspiration! Gotta keep moving. Best wishes!"
Flach competed in every event and ultimately placed fifteenth out of the eighteen overall, which is a huge accomplishment.
She has joined a long list of female athletes who have participated in competitions while pregnant. One of which being professional tennis player Serena Williams, in 2017, who won the Australian Open back the same year.