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US Track and Field Championshhip

Nike Not Fair to Elite Athletes after Pregnancy, OpEd states

Athletic brand Nike has a popular commercial that encourages women to go after their dreams and keep being awesome while pregnant, yet a couple of Nike-sponsored elite athletes are coming out to say the brand actually penalizes women who have babies.

US Track and Fields Champion Alysia Montano who gets sponsorship from Nike spoke out.

From ABCNews.com:

Montano spoke out in an op-ed video published Sunday in The New York Times, saying that Nike, “told me to dream crazy, until I wanted a baby.”

In the accompanying article, it is said that Montano “had to fight with her sponsor to keep her paycheck.”

Other athletes, all track stars, told the New York Times that Nike, their sponsor, did not guarantee them a salary during their pregnancies and immediately after having a child.

“Getting pregnant is the kiss of death for a female athlete,” Phoebe Wright, a runner sponsored by Nike from 2010 through 2016, told the Times. “There’s no way I’d tell Nike if I were pregnant.”

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Olympic Athlete Alysia Montano Competes Again Thru Pregnancy

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Championship middle distance runner Alysia Montano isn’t letting pregnancy get in the way of her drive to compete.

The athlete ran in the 800 meter distance race at the US Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Sacramento this past weekend whilst 5-months pregnant.

The Olympic athlete said she was inspired after watching Wonder Woman.

 

“When I found out Gal Gadot filmed half the movie five-months pregnant, I said, ‘I for sure am signing up for USA nationals‘,” she said.

Physicians recommend that pregnant women continue with their regular workout regimens if they feel comfortable doing so, and if they keep their heart rate at a certain level.

Montano has been getting a lot of attention again. She recently celebrated her decision on her Instagram with photos of her journey.

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“My mission as a mother, as a daughter, as a sister, as a friend, and as a human is to always fight for good and the empowerment of others.” she captioned the photo. “I hope that one day my children can look at the world through a lens filled with kindness, compassion, hope, empowerment and purpose. I hope when my children think of me in their pursuits they might see me as an example of strength and not only think “Strong like Mom”, but perhaps they may see their abilities and think “Stronger THAN Mom”. #motivationmonday#LetsDoThisForTheseBabies

But this is not the first time Montano has competed while pregnant so this is not a big stretch for her.

In 2014, Montana shocked, awed and inspired many when she competed then while 8 months pregnant.  She ended up finishing just 35 seconds shy of her personal record while 34 weeks pregnant with her first child.

Everyone in the stand rose to their feet watching her compete.

“This is what it looks like to be a professional athlete as a woman and still continuing on in your career (while starting a family),” she said at the time.”I wanted to celebrate where I’m at, celebrate: oh my gosh, I made it 34 weeks and I’ve been able to stay fit and healthy and have an uncomplicated pregnancy.”

She recalls all the accolades.

“(In 2014) women let me know that my journey and my story had inspired them in so many different ways,” the 31-year-old was quoted as saying.

“I think there’s something about coming out to any venue, not really expecting to win, but just going along with the journey and seeing what comes out of it. And that’s the most beautiful part for me, being a track and field athlete, the platform that I have, I feel so responsible to be a representative of people who don’t have the same platform, don’t have the same voice that I do.”

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And her daughter turned out fine and super cute to boot!

h/t Honey