Marta Pihan-Kulesza (Poland)

“I would have had regrets if I hadn’t tried to come back after giving birth

31 July 2018 – Having competed for many years, 31-year-old Marta made a return to gymnastics after having a baby in 2017. I spoke to her after podium training at the 2018 European championships in Glasgow.

Why did you decide to return to gymnastics at the age of 30 after having had a baby?
The plan was to retire after giving birth, but this is stronger than me. I love gymnastics, I love to compete. I would have had regrets if I hadn’t tried to come back after giving birth. I know how to come back after injuries, but not after having a baby.

How did podium training go for you today?
It’s my first big competition after giving birth to my daughter, so I’m happy, I’m feeling good. I had a fall on bars but I’m satisfied.

You became Polish national champion in June – did you expect that so soon after returning to the sport?
At the Polish championships I had a little luck. It was a big surprise. I knew that if I did my job, I could win a medal in the all-around, but I didn’t expect the gold.

What advice would you give to other gymnasts who have had a baby and are considering a comeback?
You have to try, because if you don’t try, you will never know. Don’t have any expectations, just have fun, just try to do what you did before, and you will see whether you can compete or not.

Are you like the mother-figure of the Polish team?
No, because we have the oldest team here. The Polish team’s average age is 25; the youngest on our team is 19 years old. I think we are the most experienced team in this competition.

Poland came 13th (out of 26 teams) in the team qualifications. Marta competed on three events (no vault) and her best individual result was 20th on floor.

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