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View Full Version : Athlete Pregnancies vs. Careers?



danceronice
04-21-2010, 05:06 PM
http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/pga/news;_ylt=AoLvT5ML6YNyC5cZNO1nI4UogsUF?slug=br-lateralhazard042010

versus

http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/fei-freeze-rolex-rankings-points-riders-maternity-leave

I wasn't sure where to put this, as it's also relevant to skating, but I figured other sports. We have a top female golfer retiring to pursue a family, while we have one of Germany's top riders (who is sponsored by Rolex herself) getting primary benefit from a ruling by the FEI that allows her to maintain her rank (dropping other riders who've competed in her absence) and half of her points despite not having competed in a year. There are a LOT of people upset about the FEI ruling, as it has a negative effect on the riders who are now ranked below her, and their ability to compete in the World Equestrian Games. It's come up a lot asking if there are ANY other sports where someone can take maternity leave, not compete, and come back with the ranking the same as if they'd never left.

So are there? Is it right? Should female skaters keep their ISU rankings if they're pregnant and can't skate for a year? Is that fair to other competitors not on leave? Should something similar be available to competitors who are ill or injured and out for an extended period? (Riding does have one area that most other sports don't, in that women are competing directly against men.)

BigB08822
04-22-2010, 12:47 AM
I'm a male so I hope I don't upset anyone but it is a choice to be an athlete. If you become pregnant the question is do I want to focus on my career as an athlete or do I want to take the time off to have this baby. It also needs to be taken into consideration that you may never come back and be at the same condition you were before. If you decide to take the time off then no, you should not be given special treatment. I can KIND OF see the reasoning in a sport where the women compete directly with the men, like the riding example. However, for most sports where women compete against women, no special treatment or maternity leave.

Buzz
04-22-2010, 02:40 AM
Larissa Latynina competed at the 1958 world gymnastics championship while pregnant. However I am not sure any female athlete would get away with something like that now. I do not see anything wrong with women keeping their rankings in sports like equastrian while on leave to have a family. I would imagine riding while expecting could possibly be very dangerous.

BigB08822
04-22-2010, 04:07 AM
I think I remember hearing that, Buzz. How far along was she? Surely, a gymnast could not do that in this day and age. The skill level would not allow it and it wouldn't be safe.

Now that I think of it, were there rumors that some gymnast were impregnated to benefit from the increase in hormones and then promptly had the pregnancies aborted? Not sure if this was ever proven or not. If I made this up then I must be sick...

KHenry14
04-22-2010, 08:41 AM
I guess the issue is different depending on the sport. Joy Fawcett formerly of the US Women's National Soccer Team is famous for having three kids during her tenure on the team. She basically brought the kids along on the team bus and the little girls had 20 babysitters to watch out for them. But that's rare. Most of Joy's teammates waited until after they retired to have kids, like Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm.

But for the most part, most sports aren't really prepared to deal with pregnancy, mostly because it's pretty rare.

briancoogaert
04-22-2010, 12:12 PM
To be an athlete is not a job. Especially Figure Skating, an amateur sport.
It's normal to protect pregnant women in their job, but not in sport.
Sport is a game about being the best. You have to prove that you're still the best after pregnancy. ;)

Skittl1321
04-22-2010, 01:58 PM
Larissa Latynina competed at the 1958 world gymnastics championship while pregnant. However I am not sure any female athlete would get away with something like that now. I do not see anything wrong with women keeping their rankings in sports like equastrian while on leave to have a family. I would imagine riding while expecting could possibly be very dangerous.

While "athlete" sure gets joked about a lot- there was a pregnant curler at the Olympics this year. She was 5 months.

In 2006 there was a pregnant woman in the Skeleton event- very early, so unlike the curler there was no "baby bump", but first trimester is usually the highest miscarriage risk, so skeleton is a bit insane.

here's a slideshow of other athletes: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/19/kristie-moore-pregnant-ol_n_468819.html?slidenumber=klUC7psD%2FPg%3D&&&slideshow

I don't think women should keep their ranking when they leave the sport for a year. It's a choice they make (whether or not an intentional one) and you have to prioritize. You can always work your way back up.

Angelskates
04-22-2010, 02:44 PM
I don't think women should keep their ranking when they leave the sport for a year.

Me either. Come back if you want to, but it's not fair to keep your ranking if you're not competing for any reason, pregnancy or otherwise.

OlieRow
04-23-2010, 11:58 AM
I guess the issue is different depending on the sport. Joy Fawcett formerly of the US Women's National Soccer Team is famous for having three kids during her tenure on the team. She basically brought the kids along on the team bus and the little girls had 20 babysitters to watch out for them. But that's rare. Most of Joy's teammates waited until after they retired to have kids, like Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm.

But for the most part, most sports aren't really prepared to deal with pregnancy, mostly because it's pretty rare.

Carla Overbeck was the other "soccer mom" on that team. They had kids about the same time two different years.

Twilight1
04-23-2010, 01:29 PM
I completely agree with them keeping their ranking. Mind you, I was able to maintain my senority for the year I went on mat leave at work.

I especially agree when it is a dangerous sport.

danceronice
04-23-2010, 11:12 PM
I completely agree with them keeping their ranking. Mind you, I was able to maintain my senority for the year I went on mat leave at work.

I especially agree when it is a dangerous sport.

Since you're the only one who's agreed with the idea so far--is that the same even though that has an adverse affect on people who WERE competing? In the case of Meredith Michaels Beerenbaum, when the FEI passed this rule and made it retroactive to her, she leapt from 51st in the rankings to 14th. Because only 35 riders make it to WEG, she just knocked someone out of the competition without having been competing herself.

The argument against job comparisons on the riding board (where opinion runs probably 80-20 against) is that first, no one else was DEMOTED when you came back, correct? This would be as if no one could get a raise or promotion while you were on maternity leave, or if they did they'd be demoted when you returned. And also, her 'job' is to ride and train horses for clients. The object is to show the horses, but the FEI's not her employer.