Priscilla Lopes-Schliep: New mom and Olympic hurdler on managing it all

The Canadian athlete from Scarborough, Ont. tells us how she got back into shape post-baby and what it felt like to win bronze
By Alanna Glassman
Three women jumping over hurdles, IAFF World Championships Marwan Naamani/AFP

Age: 29 Sport: Hurdles Trains: 6 to 8 hours a day Hometown: Scarborough, Ont.

Shortly after winning bronze in Beijing in 2008, Priscilla Lopes-Schliep catapulted to her current rank as the world's number one hurdler. Now the new mom — her daughter Nataliya was born in September — is one of our most promising gold-medal hopefuls. Will Nataliya follow in her footsteps? "My girl will carry on her own legacy. I hope she thinks her mom was strong and went after what she believed in."

Why this sport: "It's the hurdles. They're literally a set of obstacles. Going after new challenges is just what life is all about." Shaping up after baby: "My six-pack is back, but it took work! I took a month off after I gave birth, then I was in the pool for a bit before I hit the track."

Supermom support: "My mother, Sharon Lopes is phenomenal. She helps with Nataliya so I can practice and get the rest I need."

Top workout tip: "Set goals with regular checkpoints, so you can see where you’re going."

Diet: "Everything in moderation." She’d leap 100 hurdles for: "Chocolate cake. I’ll put in the extra laps so I can enjoy it."


On winning the bronze: "It gives me goose bumps thinking how my hard work earned a medal for Canada. To put the flag on my back, run around the stadium and find my husband, Bronsen, in the final stretch for a congratulations smooch — it was awesome."

Her award-winning advice: "Dream big. Work hard. Never ever give up."

Priscilla is a spokesperson for Pampers.


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