Today, as Stuart Weir came to visit me in our media seats, he told me about the two stories he wanted to do tonight. One of them was about Shaunae Miller-Uibo. I had traveled on a couple of flights that Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Maicel Uibo her husband, and their son were also on.
That Shaunae Miller Uibo is competing in 400m four months after having her baby has to be truly appreciated. Shaunae is one of the finest 400m runner in the world, and this editor believes she will be dabbling in the multi-events soon. Her husband, Maicel Uibo, is a WC medalist in the decathlon.
Shaunae Miller Uibo is the defending champion at the 400 meters. Thanks, Stuart Weir, for doing this one, a tribute to one of our favorite athletes in the sport.
Athlete and mom
For Shaunae Miller-Uibo, coming seventh in a prelim in the 400m at the World Championships in Budapest in a time of 52.65 must have been a strange experience. It was her first 400m of the year and took place just four months to the day after the birth of her son Maicel Uibo Jr. She had competed only once before Budapest, in the Bahamian Championships in July when she had run the 200, and bizarrely also competed in the high jump, shot, javelin, and 100m hurdles!
Miller-Uibo is the reigning world – indoor and outdoor – and Olympic champion at 400m. To be in a race and not be competitive must be a challenging experience. I was in the mixed zone as she came through. Would she rush past everyone, avoiding difficult questions? Not at all. She spoke to anyone who wanted to speak to her, answering all their questions. She spotted me and stopped for a quick greeting.
Shaunae Miller-Uibo, World Athletics Championships
August 19-27, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris
She said: “I feel proud. I gave birth four months ago. I was training hard only for the past two weeks, so coming here and running 52 seconds feels awesome. I came to defend my title and have some fun before starting preparations for next year. I love to compete, and competing at the world championships is always inspiring. My son is watching from the tribune right now. I’m so happy just to be able to compete in front of him. My son is amazing; he is always smiling. I cannot wait to see him. He gives me strength, and he is my inspiration. I am definitely looking forward to (the Olympic Games) in Paris”.
She added, “I just wanna get back out there and mingle with the girls and have some fun.” The world championships are serious competition, and Shaunae has been very successful in them, but it is striking in the different interviews she gave how “having fun” was a recurring theme.
She talked more about motherhood than about running in her interviews – and why not? She spoke about how Nia Ali and Valerie Adams had been an inspiration to her. “I just love being a mum. Motherhood is hard, but I love it so much. I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I’ve been having so much fun with my son. I feel like he’s teaching me just to be a better person overall. He’s been laughing and talking so much and just always putting a smile on my face”.
Her characteristic graciousness and her strong Christian faith also came through in her interview: “I just give God thanks and praise just for allowing me to finish the day healthy. I thank God so much for a healthy pregnancy and giving birth to a healthy son”.
She also had a message for all moms out there: “Know that you will be back – no matter how long it takes you. Some of us have different timelines. It all depends on your body and how quickly things can return and turn around, but the main focus is knowing you will be back”.
And in case you missed it, 2023 is about “just having fun with it to get ready for next year”.