Sprint Queen Marion Jones expecting a baby


Triple Olympic champion Marion Jones will miss August’s World Championships in Paris after announcing that she is pregnant.

The 27-year-old American said she and her partner Tim Montgomery, the 100 metres world record holder, were expecting a baby in July.

“We’re just very thrilled to begin this new stage of our relationship and our lives,” Jones, who won 100m, 200m and 4x400m relay golds at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, told the Los Angeles Times.

“I’ve always wanted to have a family and I’ve been blessed to have the wonderful family I already have. I’m so thrilled to say this now, so I can have a really normal, normal pregnancy.”

Last August Jones said she would target at least three gold medals, including the long jump, at the Paris championships where she was hoping to avenge her shock defeat by Ukrainian Zhanna Pintusevich-Block in the 100 metres at the 2001 Worlds.

She was undefeated in 21 races over 100, 200 and 400 metres in 2002, beating Pintusevich-Block twice in the short distance.

Jones says she intends to resume training later this year to prepare for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

“I plan to enjoy this experience,” she said. "I don’t plan to be on the treadmill and in the gym at 40 weeks.

"I’m a pregnant competitor. Being pregnant doesn’t take away from how competitive I am. I look forward to watching Tim compete and seeing how the ladies run at the World Championships and I look forward to getting back in training for Athens.

“The timing is great in terms of when the baby will be born. I’m confident I’ll have plenty of time to be ready in 2004.”

Montgomery, who began dating Jones last year before setting a world best in the 100 metres of 9.78 in September, has a daughter from a previous relationship.

“I couldn’t think of a more beautiful thing to share with such a wonderful person,” he said in a report on the newspaper’s website.

Jones is not the first high-profile track athlete to interrupt her career to start a family. Fellow American Evelyn Ashford, a double-gold medallist at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, had a daughter in 1985 and went on to win 100m silver and 4x100m gold at Seoul in 1988. She also won a relay gold in Barcelona in 1992.

Valerie Brisco-Hooks also returned from motherhood in 1984 to become the first athlete to complete a 200 and 400m Olympic double.

“World’s Fastest Lovers” is not a headline that I would care to see with my name next to it. I’m sure the journalist thought it was hysterically funny.


Marion Jones pregnant
By Mike Hurst
THE world’s fastest lovers, Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery, are having a baby.

Jones has told friends she is pregnant and will not compete this year.

An official announcement in the US is likely tomorrow.

The expectant father, 100m world record-holder Montgomery, and the Olympic 100m champion Jones are said to be thrilled.

If it was down to the nurture factor alone Jones’ baby to Montgomery would certainly become a world sprint champion.

But where nature plays the dominant hand, it’s a roll of the genetic dice.

Dr Jenny Donald, lecturer in human genetics at Macquarie University, said it did not automatically follow that the world’s fastest couple would breed a super athlete.

“Undoubtedly there will be genes that affect sporting ability, just like there are genes that affect height,” Dr Donald said.

"But we don’t know all the genes in height which is something nice and straight forward and easy to measure, let alone something like sporting ability where it’s going to be all sorts of different factors.

“You can’t expect that their child will be a world record-holder, too. There are just too many different factors.”

Winner of a record five medals - including three golds - on her Olympic debut in Sydney three years ago, Jones waited until she was safely through the first 12 weeks of her pregnancy before telling friends of her happy news.

The timing suggests she was already pregnant when she and Montgomery were turning in some world record target training sessions with Canadian coach Charlie Francis.

Jones was furious when public pressure from the International Association of Athletics Federations president Lamine Diack and general secretary Istvan Gyulai forced them to dump Francis on February 6.

She threatened at the time not to compete this year and, despite her manager Charlie Wells announcing last month she would race at Mt SAC Relays this weekend, it is understood Jones has not trained since splitting with Francis.

Her decision to boycott the season was in protest against what she considered public bullying from the IAAF, her sponsor Nike, former champions including Michael Johnson and Maurice Greene and rabid elements in the press.

But it was public comments from the IAAF which really killed their proverbial golden goose.

With her engaging smile, intelligent wit and flying feet Jones is the biggest drawcard in the premier Olympic sport.

As a package with Montgomery, they are a promoter’s dream.

Jones’ absence will hurt the IAAF world championships in Paris. She had planned to compete in four events.

Congradulations tim and marion!!! :clap:

congratulations!!:slight_smile: if they have more than 1 child, 1 is bound to be a world record setter.

Since we’re on the topic of babies here’s an interesting article:

Fuel and fertility hand in hand
Westerners breed like 30-tonne gorillas.
10 April 2003

It’s a paradox that people have fewer children as they get richer.
© GettyImages

The more someone consumes, the fewer children they have, US ecologists have found1. This might help to explain the puzzling drop in the birth rates of countries that become technologically developed.

“Birth rates in humans are simply an extension of the trade-off between energy consumption and fertility in other mammals,” says Melanie Moses of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Across the animal kingdom, birth rate falls steadily with increasing food requirements. Energy use is closely linked to size, so bigger animals have fewer offspring.

This seemed not to hold for humans. A female gorilla weighs in at about 100 kilograms, and can expect to have between three and six offspring. The average North American woman weighs considerably less, but will have fewer than two babies.

But human birth rates fit the pattern perfectly if you look at total energy consumption, find Moses and her colleague James Brown. Considering food, transport, heating, entertainment and so on, the average North American runs at 11,000 watts.

This puts them in the King Kong range. “North Americans’ energy consumption is equivalent to the metabolism of a 30,000-kilogram primate,” says Moses. And they have a birth rate to match.

Moses and Brown compared contemporary birth rates and energy use for more than 100 countries, and looked at how US fertility and consumption had changed over the past 150 years. Fertility declines steadily as consumption increases, they found.

It’s not as if you check out the GNP before deciding whether to have another baby
Robert Foley
University of Cambridge

In darwinian terms, it doesn’t make sense that greater resources aren’t used to make babies. “It’s a paradox that as people get richer they have fewer offspring,” says anthropologist Robert Foley of the University of Cambridge, UK. The high cost of living - and competing - in developed societies might be the answer, he agrees.

What’s still unclear, Foley adds, is how energy consumption might influence people’s reproductive decisions. “It’s not as if you run along and check out the gross national product before deciding whether to have another baby.”

In Europe, the population started to decline around the year 20002. The pattern fits energy use, says Moses, but creates another paradox.

“The cultural drive to supply children with an expected level of wealth seems more important than the drive to produce offspring,” she says. “Whatever is driving humans to voluntarily limit reproduction must be a very powerful force.”