If you're looking for Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi as she makes her Olympic debut in London, she shouldn't be too hard to miss. Just look for the eight-months pregnant woman with a gun.
Nur Suryani, 29, will be the first woman to represent Malaysia in shooting. She will also likely be the furthest along in a pregnancy of any woman to ever compete in the Olympics. Only three other women have competed while pregnant, and they participated in the Winter Games, according to the New York Times.
Nur Suryani, ranked 47th in the world and taking a year off from her job as a Malaysian Navy logistics officer, is worried about whether the baby girl inside her will kick just as she pulls the trigger. Shooting is certainly less stressful on a body than many other sports, but requires absolute precision, controlled breathing and sustained concentration.
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Her approach to the situation? "I will talk to her, say, 'Mum is going to shoot just for a while. Can you just be calm?"' she told the Times.
She said that while it now takes her longer to settle into the right position before shooting, she believes her pregnancy has helped her stability.
"One advantage that I've seen is that my stability increased — maybe because my gravity increased, my weight increased," she said.
[ Photos: Olympic shooting gallery]
But she almost didn't get the chance to show off her shooting. Malaysian sporting authorities had been concerned about her health and her baby's, and initially suggested that another shooter replace her. After her doctor gave her the all-clear to travel, however, Nur Suryani was adamant that she would compete. She got the green light when sports officials realized that she has improved during her pregnancy.
"For me, nothing is impossible," she said. "It's one of the challenges. If I abandoned it, maybe who knows? Another four years to wait, maybe I don't have the opportunity."
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