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8 January 2004 - Pregnant archer aims at Olympic history

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Pregnant archer aims at Olympic history Lausanne – 8 January 2004   A German archer who is 30 weeks pregnant is to compete at the Athens Olympics. Cornelia Pfohl, 33, is entered in the women’s individual and team events in archery. She is believed to be the first athlete ever to compete at the Olympics while in the third trimester of a pregnancy.   The German Olympic Committee has confirmed Pfohl’s position on its team for Athens. Games organisers and the International Archery Federation (FITA) have been alerted to the possible need of special medical considerations.   Pfohl is an accomplished archer who is competing in her fourth consecutive Olympics. She has won two team medals at the Olympics – silver in 1996 and bronze in 2000. Her best individual result was 24th in Sydney.   Should she win another medal, Pfohl will likely earn herself a special niche in Olympic history. The most famous result for a pregnant woman at the Olympics is the bronze medal won by platform diver Juno Irwin in 1952. The American was in her fourth month of pregnancy.   Being pregnant at the Olympics is nothing new for Pfohl. A German archery spokesman confirmed she was in the early months of pregnancy with her three-year-old daughter, Mara, at the Sydney Olympics. This will be Pfohl’s second child.   Archery is being held at Panathinaiko Stadium, the 2300-year-old venue which staged the first modern Olympics in 1896. The white marble structure bakes in the heat of an Athens summer – temperatures on the Field of Play reached almost 50C during last year’s Olympic Test Event.   Officials do not believe conditions will put Pfohl at risk. She will be required to shoot at least 100 arrows in competition during the week. Each time she takes a shot, she draws back the equivalent of 16kg of weight before release.   Terry Reilly, FITA’s Executive Director, said Pfohl has not made any requests to organisers.   “We are going to make conditions as comfortable as possible for Cornelia, but she has said she does not expect to need any special requirements to compete.”   “Cornelia wants to be treated like any other athlete. However, we know it’s a nice story and we hope spectators will really support her.”   Pfohl and her partner, Stefan Griem, had planned to marry this European summer, but decided to delay the occasion after Pfohl’s late call-up to the Olympic team. Griem is also a world-class archer but competes in non-Olympic compound events.   Archery starts on Thursday, the eve of the Opening Ceremony, with the Ranking Round for men and women at Dekelia Training Field. Competition then runs from August 15-21 (Days 2-8 of the Games) at Panathinaiko Stadium   Archery has four events at the Olympics: men’s individual and team, and women’s individual and team.   By Travis Cranley FITA Media Contact Phone: +41 21 614 3050 Contact Email: athensarchery@aol.com