SPORTS

Hurdler Lopes-Schliep taking her time in second return from childbirth

11/12/2013 07:02 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
TORONTO - Priscilla Lopes-Schliep is taking her return from childbirth a little more slowly this time around.

The former world No. 1-ranked hurdler gave birth to her second daughter Jaslene three months ago. And while there was a sense of urgency after her first child was born — a spot in the London Olympics was on the line — there's no need to rush this time.

"Just being smart about the comeback basically, not rushing through anything. I'll just enjoy it a little more," Lopes-Schliep said Tuesday. "I am enjoying it. I don't feel there's as much pressure, this time I'm so much more relaxed. No. 2, you kind of know what to expect. Just loving life."

The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist hopes to be back in top form for the 2016 Rio Games, and she's proven she can bounce back before. After her first daughter Nataliya was born two years ago, she rebounded to run Canada's fastest time in the 100-metre hurdles in the 2012 season.

She didn't make the London team after uncharacteristically hitting a hurdle in the Canadian championships, which was the Olympic qualifying meet.

The 31-year-old from Whitby, Ont., has recently returned to the track, but won't go over hurdles for a while. She likely won't race in any indoor meets this winter, she said, but could return to competition this summer.

She appeared Tuesday at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games announcement for its Sport Legacy Fund Plan, which will see $70-million go toward the operating costs of three Pan Am Games venues.

Lopes-Schliep admitted her return hasn't been as easy this time around. She still has to take it easy because her abdominal muscles are still separated.

"Definitely it is different, it's a little harder," she said. "Basically I'm going out there and training hard and feeling the little things along the way, but nothing in life worthwhile is easy. I know I've got to push through. And I always know that what is meant to be is what will be and God has a plan for me, and nothing before its time."

The announcement for the Legacy Fund, which will see the federal government contribute up to $65 million and the provincial government, $5 million, was made at the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House at the University of Toronto Scarborough, one of three facilities build for the Games that will be supported by the fund. The others are the Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome and the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium at York University.

"I grew up right there, literally," Lopes-Schliep said of the aquatic facility in Scarborough. "When I was going to high school, I'd take the bus by there every day. It's funny because it was a big open area, and I knew something had to go there eventually. To have that going up there, and to see it coming together is awesome because you'll have more athletes training there, and they'll be able to see their role models and be inspired. It's a stepping stone for the younger athletes coming up."

The fund will contribute to the operating and capital maintenance of the facilities for the next two decades at least.

MORE:cpSports