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Is the pregnancy taboo lifted in high-level sport? – Top athletes and mothers



They are called Amel Majri, Cécilia Berder, Cleopatra Darleux, Clarisse Agbegnenou, Camille Lecointre or Marième Badiane. They are all high level athletes. And all of them have decided to have a child during their career, without endangering their sporting future.

Can we conclude that the pregnancy taboo among the best athletes is falling? “Women are much more likely to take this break and follow their needs,” said Solen Désert, a 400-meter athlete from Brest who finished her career in 2011 and had two children after her spikes were stored. “When I got married in June 2008, just before the Olympics, my DTN had gone wrong. I think we were with shackles and we couldn’t afford it, even without realizing it. Things are changing today. “

“I thought they would drop me off, but they were all very happy.”

At the time of the announcement, Quimper fencer Cécilia Berder, then a silver medalist in fencing at the 2021 Tokyo Games, was arrested. “I thought I was going to see in his eyes that I would no longer be an athlete and that they would put me aside, but they didn’t care. They asked me if my plan was to come back later, I said yes and they told me it was all they wanted to know. I was pleasantly surprised because everyone was very happy. “

What Cécilia Berder experienced shows that attitudes are changing. “It simply came to our notice then. The more people realize that it is possible to return to their level, or even stronger, the more open-minded they become, and this may make things easier. However, I find that it is not voluntary for many of them, said Brest basketball player Marième Badiane, in an interview with the Telegram, on her return from pregnancy. Me, I would have been afraid to voluntarily throw myself in there, but I don’t regret anything. I think a lot of women are afraid of not being supported and not coming back. “

In the weight room, even the guys are watching me, they may be the next coaches. Ten years from now, it won’t scare them because they’ve seen it possible.

“I truly believe in the power of example”

If Marième Badiane, but also the handball player of the BBH Cléopatre Darleux, had not planned her pregnancy, many of them did. “For me, it was time (between two Olympics),” says Berder. It was something thought and desired for a long time. The one-year delay in the Tokyo Games changed the pregnancy project accordingly. “” We’ve also had cases where clubs are aware of the baby project, even before the contract is signed because the players want to to be clear with her company, adds Julie Campassens, legal manager of the National Basketball Players Union, I had girls who got pregnant during the season and a club took a player’s pregnancy very badly.

If consciousness is activated, there is still a long way to go to make the subject trivial. “I strongly believe in the power of example,” says Cecilia Berder. In the weight room, even the guys are watching me, they may be the next coaches. Ten years from now, it won’t scare them because they saw it was possible. “

Top athletes and mothers

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