Tia Hellebaut – From Olympic Gold to Motherhood
During the 2008 indoor track & field season, Tia Hellebaut returned her focus to multi-events and became world champion of pentathlon at the World Indoor Championships in Valencia, where she set a record for the best high jump result in a women’s multi-event competition, clearing 1.99 m. (6.53 feet).
At the 2008 summer Olympics, held in Beijing, Hellebaut reached her pinnacle by winning the gold medal in the high jump, ahead of the favorite, Blanca Vlasic of Croatia, with a new outdoor personal best of 2.05 m. (6.73 feet).
Her achievement represented the first-ever athletics gold medal in the Olympics for a Belgian, and only the second of any color, one day after Belgium won their first (silver) medal in the 4×100m relay.
On 5 December 2008, Hellebaut announced her pregnancy and her retirement from professional athletics. On June 9, 2009, Hellebaut gave birth to a daughter named Lotte.
After her professional track & field career, Hellebaut started working for a sports marketing company.