In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.
BEIJING - Mothers of the world, stand up and applaud British marathon runner Paula Radcliffe and US swimmer Dara Torres who both competed at the Olympics yesterday.
Radcliffe, 34, the world record holder, and Torres, the oldest US swimmer at 41, are among the rising number of women athletes with children competing at Beijing, proving babies don't spell the end for elite sportswomen.
Perhaps becoming a mother even helps.
"It just brings a whole new dimension to your life. The transfer over makes me a happier person running. It also helps you see things in perspective sometimes," Radcliffe said.
Radcliffe, who was training 12 days after giving birth to daughter Isla in January last year, missed out on an Olympic medal for the fifth time yesterday as her patched-up body failed her.
Torres snapped up two silver medals in the pool at Beijing yesterday, beating an Australian rival 25 years her junior, before turning her attention back to her 2-year-old daughter Tessa.
"The other girls were talking about going backpacking or going to Bali, but I get back on Tuesday evening and on Wednesday morning I have to take my daughter to school and I have a list of school supplies I have to get," she told reporters.
A study on mothers in elite sport by Massey University in New Zealand, presented to a sports management conference last year, found the number of mothers involved in high-level sport had increased in the past decade but did not give numbers.
But the jury is still out on whether physical changes during pregnancy can boost aerobic capacity and enhance women's performance after giving birth, or whether the mental impact of childbirth is a factor in increased post-child performance.
The idea that women's running performance improves after childbirth is sometimes called "the Ingrid myth" after Norwegian marathoner Ingrid Kristiansen, who won the Houston Marathon in 1983 just five months after her first child's birth.
Dutch athlete Fanny Blankers-Koen was the Olympic trailblazer for mothers. The 30-year-old mother-of-two, dubbed "the Flying Housewife", won four gold medals in London in 1948.
The numbers have swelled since. At Beijing the US team alone has 20 mothers among its 286 women athletes.
The first female athlete and mother to win a gold medal at Beijing was Chinese judo champion Xian Dongmei, 32.
"What I want most right now is to have a good rest and stay with my little daughter," a tearful Xian said after her win. "I want very much to make it up to my daughter." - Reuters