Tianna Madison competes at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track and Field on June 25, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon.
Tianna Madison had a surprise for readers of her blog.
In a post titled “Cobra Kai,” she wrote, “My son is three weeks old. You read that right. I, have a son.”
While Madison’s followers didn’t know she was pregnant, neither did she when she competed at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track and Field in June. At that point, Madison was about six or seven weeks along.
“Obviously, I would NOT have even bothered if I knew I was pregnant,” said Madison who recently changed back to her maiden name after competing for several years as Tianna Bartoletta.
She said that Kai Madison Ryan, who was born Nov. 4, was not named after the “Cobra Kai” television show – which she coincidentally binge-watched during the Trials. However, it’s clear that both Kai and his mother are fighters.
Madison had a difficult pregnancy, giving birth to her son at around 26 weeks, which was 14 weeks early.
While Madison, 36, was discharged from the hospital, she told TeamUSA.org that Kai “unfortunately isn’t home. He will likely stay until his original due date” in February. “But I spend hours with him every day because we live only 20 minutes from the NICU,” Madison said.
Kai’s father is Charles Ryan, director of track and field for San Jose State University.
Madison won gold medals in the 4 x 100-meter relay in 2012 and 2016 and also was Olympic champion in the long jump in Rio. In the run-up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, she had emergency surgery for a fibroid tumor.
With the pandemic forcing a postponement of the Tokyo Games, Madison took advantage of the extra year to finish and promote her memoir, “Survive and Advance.” Returning to form, she was encouraged when she ran 10.9 seconds twice in the 100 meters in a meet in June 2021. Unbeknownst to Madison, she was about four weeks pregnant at the time.
The Olympic Trials were two weeks later. Madison ran 11.09 in the semifinals of the 100 on June 19, then competed in the long jump on June 24 and June 26. Despite a season-best of 6.54 meters, she placed 10th.
Madison then went to Scandinavia to compete in Diamond League meets, noting that “all I wanted to do was sleep, eat, sleep, and eat some more. Once I did learn I was pregnant – nah. Nope. That’s a story for another day…”