Olympic cyclist says she was pregnant when she won silver medal

Olympic silver medalist Elinor Barker revealed on social media Tuesday that she was pregnant while competing in Tokyo. 

The British cycling star announced on Instagram that she and her husband Casper Jopling are expecting their first child. 

“We really can’t believe how lucky we are and are so excited for the next part of our lives to begin,” she wrote. 

In a following post, the five-time world cycling champion said she was expecting during the Olympics. The 27-year-old told “The Cycling Podcast” that she learned she was pregnant just days before her race and said that the timing was initially “stressful.”

“It was quite a surprise for us, I really did not expect to get pregnant…I actually found out while I was in Tokyo,” she said. 

The pregnancy was also a surprise for Barker because she said she suffers from endometriosis, a painful gynecological condition that can make getting pregnant difficult. But after Barker missed her period, she consulted with the team doctor and psychologist on the next steps.

“I’m really glad I had that team around me of people who knew exactly what to do and what was and wasn’t safe, but also managed to help get my head back in the game and focus on the racing until it was over,” she said. 

Barker also told the podcast she was about to sign a two-year contract with professional Norwegian cycling team, Uno-X, and felt she couldn’t sign the deal unless they knew. When she brought it up to them, Barker said she received support and assurances from them “nothing would change” and the “contract offer was still on the table.”

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games - Day Eleven
Great Britain’s Katie Archibald, Laura Kenny, Neah Evans, Josie Knight and Elinor Barker with their silver medals for the Women’s Team Pursuit during the Track Cycling at the Izu Velodrome on the eleventh day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Picture date: Tuesday August 3, 2021. Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images

Barker, who won silver for Britain in team pursuit cycling in Tokyo, also thanked cyclists Lizzie Deignan, Laura Kenny and Sarah Storey, who are all mothers, for their support. 

“Because of these women (and many more) I didn’t doubt the future of my career for one second,” she wrote on Instagram. “I’d always been in awe of what they’ve each achieved since becoming parents, but only recently have I fully understood the full power of what each of them has done.”