Completing the Olympians' Mile is an inspiring experience and a fantastic achievement - but it’s even more remarkable to run it eight-and-a-half months pregnant.
Two-time Olympians and ten-time British Champions, skating pair Stacey and David King completed the Olympians' Mile together on the 28th of May 2017, with Stacey only weeks from her due date.
28-year-old Stacey and 32-year-old David, who many know as the iconic British skating duo Kemp and King, have been skating together since 2003.
David has skated since the age of ten, taking to the ice after he attended a friend’s birthday party. Stacey fell in love with the sport aged six, through watching figure skater Oksana Baiul win the 1994 Olympic Games.
The two were matched as a pair by their coaches Dawn Spendlove and Stephen Pikcervance. They went on to skate professionally, competing in two Olympic Games and multiple international events before tying the knot in 2016.
Now the pair have conquered yet another milestone, running from the Mall in London and finishing at the gates of Buckingham Palace in the Olympians' Mile, a route that has been named the most iconic mile in the world.
Olympians young and old, each wearing their own Olympic team kit, united to celebrate their achievements and inspire a young generation into sport.
But for David and Stacy, running the mile was all the more remarkable, as Stacy is almost at the end of her pregnancy.
They immediately signed up to run the mile last year, looking forward to joining other athletes and hoping to inspire young people to pursue dreams of competing at Olympics for Great Britain.
When the couple were invited to the event, Stacey was not pregnant. But instead of deciding to cheer David on from the side-lines, Stacey was determined she would still finish the mile herself.
David said: “We were so excited when we signed up to run the Olympic Mile. We believe ‘once an Olympian always an Olympian,’ and these events are important to inspire others.
“The day is about encouraging others and being proud of what you have achieved. All Olympians shared stories of their journey and struggles to fulfil their dreams of competing in the Olympics.
“We’ve all trained for years in our individual sports and all have lots in common through achieving our dreams and goals as athletes.
“But when the event got closer and Stacey’s pregnancy progressed, people started to say she shouldn’t run, and should just watch instead.
“That’s just not the people we are, and not once has Stacey’s pregnancy stopped her from doing anything. She has been lucky enough to keep active and carry on her normal, everyday life.
“She carries on as she usually would as long as her body lets her. She was still doing three shows a day at 17 weeks pregnant, and is still coaching now with only 2 weeks until the baby is due!
“It’s pretty safe to say she will probably still be on the ice right up until baby King arrives.”
Stacey and David have now retired from the world competition scene and today are full-time coaches and ice skating ambassadors.
Their weekly schedules are still very active. They both run off-ice fitness classes 4 hours a week as well as coaching on the ice, making them well-prepared for the Olympic Mile.
It didn’t change when Stacey fell pregnant either. When the midwife advised that it was positive to remain active, as long as she felt comfortable and fit, she was more than happy to keep up her weekly schedule.
When the Olympic Mile became closer, people started to suggest Stacey watch instead, but the mum-to-be was determined she would be finishing the race as a runner alongside her husband.
She said: “When I arrived there, people saw I was heavily pregnant and said: ‘you’re not running are you?’ I often forget that people can see I’m pregnant, so I just laughed and replied: ‘Of course I am!’
“When we went through security they gave David a wristband to run and just smiled at me - I had to ask for mine as they assumed I wasn’t running.
“When I got to the VIP lounge and put my kit on, competitive mode kicked in and I was really excited to be part of such an iconic event with so many inspiring athletes.
“At the start line I was really geared up to go. I initially ran off fast keeping up with all the others - leaving David looking rather worried behind me. I think he was anxious baby King might decide to come early if I kept it up.
“I settled into a comfortable pace though, and of course couldn’t run as fast as I normally would. But I gave it my best and ran the whole way, finishing at a respectable time.
“I was really encouraged by the brilliant crowd cheering all the runners on. It was also really nice seeing how many women respected my decision to run.
“It was a very inspiring day and a proud moment for both David and I to put our Olympic kit back on and join the others.
“Stepping over the finish line and hearing our names being announced and receiving our medal made the day so worth it. I almost forgot I was eight-and-a-half months pregnant!”
Stacey and David’s career highlights include:
Ten-Time British Champions
Two-Time Olympians (Vancouver 2010 & Sochi 2014 - First British Pair to compete in an Olympics in 16 years)
6th in Europe
13th in the world
International Gold Medal Winners