Amber Rutter, a top Olympic shooter on The Great Britain and Northern Ireland Olympic Team, welcomed her first child on Thursday, three months before she hopes to compete at the Paris Olympics.

“Our beautiful boy, you are loved more than you could ever know,” she wrote in an Instagram post announcing the news over the weekend. “Welcome to the world, Tommy Rutter.”

Last month, in an interview with BBC Sport, the 26-year-old said she plans to return to training six weeks after giving birth, with a competition tentatively scheduled for the end of June.

“I’m just sort of playing it with how my recovery goes and how my body feels,” she told the BBC.

When Rutter learned she was pregnant, she said, she immediately got to work trying to figure out how long she had before the Olympics and how the logistics would work.

Amber Rutter welcomed a baby boy just months before she intends to compete at the Paris Olympics this summer.
Amber Rutter welcomed a baby boy just months before she intends to compete at the Paris Olympics this summer.

Jeff Spicer via Getty Images

Rutter competed in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and was supposed to attend the Tokyo Olympics.

She said she experienced the “biggest wake-up call” in 2021 after she received devastating news that she had tested positive for COVID-19 right before she was due to fly to Japan. At the time, she was the world’s top-ranked women’s skeet shooter and a contender to win gold.

“Broken is about the only way to describe the pain I’m feeling right now,” she wrote in an Instagram post at the time.

“The mental change for me was like, the Olympics isn’t everything,” she told Good Morning Britain last month, describing how she had worked to find more balance between life and being an athlete. “Being a mum is just such an amazing thing to do.”

She added, “There’s just so many other areas of my life that I just really wanted to explore.”

She has since been outspoken about mental health in professional sports, speaking about her own experience and how she is prioritizing happiness.

Rutter married her longtime partner, motocross racer James Rutter, in February 2023. She announced her pregnancy on Instagram in October.

She told the BBC that she was nervous about sharing the news, but her team, the U.K. governing body for shooting and her sponsors have supported her.

She said she would need to work out how to navigate training and competing while ensuring she has the facilities for breastfeeding, pumping, and bringing her baby along, perhaps even to Paris.

“There’s been a lot of support, again, in that aspect of how I can make things work,” she said.

As for her Olympic aspirations, those haven’t changed.

“I’m going there for gold, and don’t ever get that mistaken,” she told the BBC. “But I’ve got so much to come home to as well.”

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