Chloe Esposito, modern Olympic champion of the Pentathlon in Australia, is pregnant and will not participate in this year’s Tokyo Games.
Esposito is expected to give birth to his first child in August – the Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 24th.
Esposito says he has no intention of retiring from the sport in which he won gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
“A wonderful unexpected surprise happened. My husband, Matt Cooper, and I are bringing a mini Cooper to this world in August, “Esposito published on social media on Thursday.
“True to form, nothing works in the way we plan it.
“Defending my title will have to wait another four years. I can’t wait to be a mom.
“My priorities will change, but the challenge of pregnancy on the podium is a powerful dream.” Esposito became Australia’s first modern Olympic pentathlon gold medal in Rio, then took a year off from multidisciplinary sports.
She returned to the international competition to win the 2018 World Cup final and conquer the ranking n. 1 in this sport.
The 28-year-old suffered frustration last year when knee tendon injuries reduced her production, but she had scheduled a return to competition within a few months until her pregnancy changed this plan.
Modern Pentathlon Australia president and former mission chef of the Australian Olympic team, Kitty Chiller, said pregnancy was not the end of Esposito’s career.
“I would like to express my congratulations to Chloe and Matt … they will be fantastic parents,” said Chiller in a note.
“Obviously we would have loved to see Chloe on the starting line in Tokyo to defend his Olympic title.
“However, we know that this is not the end of her extraordinary career and we look forward to supporting her in due course when she returns to sport with an eye to the 2024 Paris Olympics.”
Australian Olympic Committee chairman John Coates also congratulated Esposito on his announcement.
“Although disappointed by our Tokyo team will miss one of its brightest stars, we are delighted with its news,” he said in a statement.
“Chloe has been a wonderful ambassador for her sport, Australia and the Olympic movement.
“I am sure we will see her again with the Australian colors to regain the title she won in Rio.”