Michelle Vesterby keeps smiling through her pregnancy

One of the sport's most popular athletes, Michelle Vesterby announced last fall that she was expecting. We caught up with the Danish Ironman champ for an update on how things are going.

| January 31, 2019 | PERSONALITY

Michelle Vesterby on her way home after a photo shoot before last year\'s Ironman World Championship.

Michelle Vesterby on her way home after a photo shoot before last year's Ironman World Championship.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

TriathlonWorld.com: Based on the all the training I see you've been doing, can we assume that you intend to return to racing after the arrival of the little one?

Michelle Vesterby: For sure my plan is to return. I love racing and I love training. If everything goes as planned with the little one, I will be back racing an Ironman this year and hopefully qualify for Hawaii 2020.

How has the pregnancy been going? Is there anything that you didn't expect?

The pregnancy has been going better than expected. I can still swim, bike and run and I’m more than halfway now ... I love to continue my job while looking and listening to the things my body is changing. It’s amazing what the body can do. I am still training, but I’m feeling great and everything is very slow.

You'll be part of a big crew of athletes who have returned to competition after having a baby over the last few years. Do you think this is a sign that our sport is growing up?

I have so many role models of other elite girls who have made a great comeback to the sport. I think it’s awesome to see and I believe it’s a sign of just how much we are learning about this sport. We just keep learning more about being efficient and what the body is able to do.

When people ask me “Why not relax and enjoy,” I tell them that I love my job and why would I stop moving when I am happy and my kiddo is too. My body is used to movement and nobody knows my body as well as me. Of course I am going to be careful, though - I’m the one who wants this kid to be healthy more than anyone.

How are things going with the Keep Smiling Life platform you’ve been working on?

keepsmiling.life is still underway. I haven’t had time to put the effort and focus into it, but maybe when I can’t train as much I’ll have time to put some more effort into it

Will you be naming the new baby after your favorite journalist Kevin? OK, on a more serious note - after all your experiences with the sport, do you hope that your son or daughter will become a triathlete?

My son will be named Marcus after my brother Mark! Marcus will be the one swimming, biking and running (as Mark couldn’t). [Ed. Note: Vesterby’s handicapped brother, Mark, died at 26.]

I hope he will do some triathlons. In terms of sport, I don’t mind if he becomes a triathlete, but I really think he’ll be a soccer player – he’s been kicking like crazy.