News and Media


Surprise birth for Chilean weightlifter during training

A Chilean Olympic weightlifter (Poblete finished 12th in Beijing Games) unexpectedly gave birth to a baby boy while she was training in a Brazilian gym.

Elizabeth Poblete, 22, called for a doctor when she felt unwell a week ago while hoisting weights in the gym in Sao Paulo, where she lives, the news website reported.

She then gave premature birth to the 1.15-kilogram (2.54-pound) baby, whom she named Eric Jose after she got over her shock.

Both mother and son were taken to hospital, where the baby was being kept in intensive care.

The head weight trainer in the gym, Horacio Reis, said: “It was a surprise for me. A week ago I acted as a judge in a competition in Chile and this girl was competing. All went well and she won the competition.

“I could see she was a big girl, round and strong. That’s all I noticed.”

Poblete had admitted to feeling unwell during training a week before the birth, according to reports in Brazil, but was “shocked” to find she was pregnant.

The boy was born at three months premature and remains in intensive care. However, Poblete has since left the hospital after telling Brazilian television she does not have the funds to continue medical care for her and her baby. The hospital has denied it discharged the 22-year-old because she failed to pay her bill.