The Olympics' most relatable miracle and what it means for your pregnant wife's late-night cravings
The Kansas City Star
LONDON — I have never been a father. More to the point, my wife has never been pregnant. So she has never had weird cravings or kicks or morning sickness or fatigue or any of the other symptoms billions of women have dealt with while going through the greatest miracle of all.
Someday, perhaps she will. Someday, perhaps she will wake me up at 3:30 in the morning demanding spaghetti and if that day comes I will of course get up and start boiling noodles.
But when I do, I’ll be thinking of the most amazing woman at these Olympics — Nur Suryani Mohamad Taibi, from Malaysia.
Suryani gave fathers-to-be a fantastic point of argument when she competed in the 10 meter air rifle competition at the Olympics in her 33rd week of pregnancy and it’s OK to pause and read this sentence again.
Suryani competed in the Olympics. Shooting a rifle.
At 33 weeks pregnant.
I have a friend whose wife wouldn’t even drive after about 20 weeks.
Seriously. Most athletes here will have a last-second pep talk with their coach, or maybe a conversation with themselves about staying focused or relaxing or just having fun. Not Suryani.
She talked to the baby girl — Dayana Widyan is the name — living in her womb.
“Behave yourself,” Suryani told her baby. “Be calm, don’t move so much.”
Of course, a fetus can do what it pleases so baby Dayana did move a little bit. Suryani felt kicks in her belly during the competition. Four kicks, actually. She kept shooting, and afterward, said this:
“When she kicks I breathe in and out and then continue.”
There may not be more remarkable words spoken during these Olympics.
Jaw-dropping stories are everywhere here, of course. A man with no legs is running track. A woman from Seattle is using boxing to get past sexual and physical abuse from her father. A woman from San Diego lives in poverty and is the world’s top-rated weightlifter despite a congenital deformity that causes sharp pain in her arms every time she lifts.
Heck, just the other day a blind South Korean broke the world record in archery.
So, no. Suryani didn’t change the world today. She didn’t medal, didn’t even make the finals.
But she did give us what might be the Olympics’ most relatable miracle. Most of us, God willing, haven’t and won’t ever know what it’s like to live without legs or eye-sight, or with sexual abuse or poverty.
But many of us have or will be involved in a pregnancy. And fellas, precedent has now clearly been set to tell your 33-weeks-pregnant wife to make her own damn spaghetti.
Probably not the smartest idea, though. Whether or not she’s packing a rifle.