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US Olympian watches birth of first child via video call

BEIJING (AFP) – As Olympic preparations go, it takes some beating.

United States (US) biathlete Leif Nordgren watched his wife give birth to their first child via video call from the Beijing Games the day before his first race, after being apart from her since mid-November.

His wife’s due date was initially February 4, the day of the opening ceremony.

“That was really cool,” 32-year-old Nordgren said of watching the birth of his daughter.

“It was really nice to be on video chat and talking with my wife pretty much the entire time. A really special day for our family.”

He came 87th in Tuesday’s 20-kilometre individual biathlon.

Leif Nordgren watched the birth of his first child on a phone from Beijing. PHOTO: AFP

“I can barely handle how cute this girl is, and I can’t wait to get home to meet her!! @caitlinnordgren we did good,” he wrote on Instagram yesterday alongside a picture of his newborn daughter.

His wife Caitlin Nordgren, a meteorologist for NBC, told the US broadcaster before she gave birth that the couple had realised as soon as she was pregnant that it was “not good timing for us”.

“Finding out Leif would most likely not be here for our baby’s arrival was absolutely sad,” she had written on Instagram.

But she said there was “a silver lining” because her husband’s presence inside the strict COVID-19 ‘bubble’ surrounding the Olympics meant she could easily get hold of him.

“He’s essentially in a little bit of a lockdown and therefore he will be a little bit more available to answer my phone calls and things like that,” she said.

“I can’t wait to get the Games over with and get back home,” Leif Nordgren said after the race. “It’s really exciting to have something so big to go home to now.”