Ex-Figure Skater Dies, Gives Birth Two Days Later

Did you know you’re going to cry today? It’s true. You’re going to read this story and see this picture and because there is even one sliver, one ounce of humanity in you, you will–at the very least–wipe your eyes about 7-10 times but never admit to it. But this is your early, but still prohibitive favorite for Saddest Sports Story of 2009: the story of a former champion figure skater who became a mother… two days after she died.

Aya Jayne Soliman

That’s Aya Jayne Soliman, all 2 pounds, 11.5 ounces of her, after spending just 26 weeks in mother Jayne Soliman’s womb. Soliman, then Jayne Campbell, was the top British free skater in 1989, and she worked her way to 7th in the entire world that year. But competitive skating gave way to coaching, which led her to Abu Dhabi. She would meet her eventual husband there, and the two moved back to England, where Jayne was enjoying a healthy pregnancy. Then, cruel, sudden, and unforeseeable tragedy struck: Read more…