Gwen Jorgensen used to think that she would be done competing as an elite athlete after having her second baby, but not any more.
The 36-year-old 2016 Olympic Triathlon champion has announced that she is expecting a brother or sister for son Stanley. The desire to complete her journey to the 2024 Paris Olympics as a marathon runner though remains as strong as ever.
In announcing the news, she explained just how difficult family planning is for professional athletes – her second child with husband Patrick Lemieux will arrive deep into that Olympic cycle as France beckons.
Gwen on baby news
Writing in an Instagram post, she said: “We are overjoyed to be growing our family, but I’d be remiss to not share the backstory behind this good news.
“As an athlete, family planning is really complicated – childbearing years and professional years coincide, and both are very demanding of your body in very different ways.
“Figuring out when to have a second child was hard for Patrick and me. We wanted Stanley to have siblings, but I also wanted to maximize my athletic career.”
Jorgensen’s switch to the marathon came right after giving birth to Stanley five years ago, and since then she has balanced motherhood with the desire to excel at her new discipline.
“I’ve trained, worked my way through injuries, and made it to the Olympic Trials finals in my new sport,” she said.
“At times, I’ve felt guilty prioritizing my career over children – probably because I used to think that after a second child, I’d have to be done competing. Now that I’m pregnant, I know that’s not the case.
The road to Paris
“My motivation to reach my potential spurs me to return, even as a mom of two. I haven’t peaked yet, and I have unfinished business with running.
“With the Olympics only two years away, I know it will be tight to even make the Olympic Trials, but a scary goal has never scared me off.”
Gwen admits that having a child between Olympic Games is often “impossible”, but she has a clear view on what her road looks like as she bids to book a place in Paris.
“My goals are to have an active, healthy pregnancy, a proper recovery with a pelvic floor PT, and a return to training and racing in time for the Olympic Trials. It’s a long and difficult journey, but one that is so worth it.”