LOS ANGELES, May 14, 2004 ( – When Tasha Danvers-Smith tried a home pregnancy test, she did it just to put her mind at ease; a ‘positive’ result was the last thing she expected. The newly married South Londoner, Danvers-Smith, was a prominent contender for Olympic gold at the upcoming Athens Olympics and she says that she was so shocked that she briefly considered abortion. “I had high hopes. I thought I had a good chance of getting a medal, if not a gold one. So it was quite devastating for me to find out I was pregnant,” she said yesterday. Danvers-Smith married her American coach in November and lives in Los Angeles where she could have easily obtained an abortion.

Despite enormous pressures, she made the decision to give up her Olympic dreams because of a line from scripture, “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?”“For me, the whole wide world was the Olympics. At the same time, I felt I would be losing my soul. It just wouldn’t fit well. It would be a forced decision. I would have had to have forced myself to do something I didn’t want to do. Even though, as much as I would love to go the Olympics and everything, it would be something that wasn’t going to make me happy at all.”

He husband, she said, had a serious conflict of interest because of his stake in her training. Her athletic talent is the family’s source of income and they had placed all their hopes and plans for financial security on the upcoming events.

She said that the thought of an abortion depressed her and that she experienced a feeling of relief once she had decided to go ahead with her pregnancy even though it meant giving up so much. She said, “For me it was not going to be an option. And as soon as I decided that, I felt so happy. Even though I know it is going to be a struggle financially and that I am sacrificing my medal hopes.”

Telegraph UK coverage:


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