When Alysia Montaño ran the 800-meter race at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Sacramento last Thursday, she was racing for two. The Olympian ran the race while five months pregnant. Viral photos from the event, showing Montaño racing with her signature flower in her hair, prove that pregnant women can still kick ass.
Last week was, in fact, the second time that Montaño has raced while pregnant. In 2014, she competed at the same event while eight months pregnant with her now-two-year-old daughter, Linnea. Montaño finished last in her heat this year, but she told reporters that she didn’t come to win — she came to represent women like her.
“I think there’s something about coming out to any venue, not really expecting to win, but just going along with the journey and seeing what comes out of it,” she said. “And that’s the most beautiful part for me, being a track and field athlete, the platform that I have, I feel so responsible to be a representative of people who don’t have the same platform, don’t have the same voice that I do.”
She added, “I represent so many different people. I represent women. I represent black women. I represent pregnant women. ... I think it’s my responsibility to make sure I’m a voice and advocate for them.”
In an interview after her race, Montaño pointed out that there’s a stigma against women exercising while pregnant. Women exercising during pregnancy is “still a conversation that needs to be had,” she said.
Montaño wore a Wonder Woman top during her race, and explained that she was inspired by Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot, who filmed part of the movie while pregnant herself. “I found out [Gadot] filmed half the movie 5-months pregnant, and I was like, ‘I will be signing up for USA Nationals,’" she said.
I have a feeling that Wonder Woman would approve.