Canadian decathlon record holder Damian Warner announced Thursday evening that he and his longtime partner Jen Cotton welcomed their baby boy, Theodore David Phillip Warner, on March 11. The couple had not gone public with their pregnancy news, so the announcement, which Warner made on his Instagram page, has come as a surprise to many people in the track and field world. This is the couple’s first child, and Warner completed his post with a fitting hashtag — #surprise.
Warner mentions in his post that March 11 is a special date because it’s the same birthday as his late grandfather, as well as Cotton’s grandmother and sister. Cotton also made her own announcement about their “surprise” baby on her Facebook page.
Warner and Cotton are truly a track and field power couple. Warner is the Canadian record holder in the decathlon and won bronze in the event at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, the first Canadian to medal in the decathlon since 1988. He also won the gold medal at the 2015 PanAm Games, and one month later won the silver medal at the IAAF World Championships, coming second to American Ashton Eaton’s world-record performance.
Cotton is an accomplished track and field athlete in her own right. She competed for the University of Western Ontario in the pentathlon during the winter seasons and the heptathlon in summer. Cotton won a total of 13 U Sports medals during her time at Western, and was the team MVP for all five years that she competed. She has also represented Canada at numerous international events, and was inducted into the Western Mustangs Sports Hall of Fame last October.
The couple live in London, Ont., where Warner is continuing to train for the 2021 Olympics. With two track superstars as parents, we can’t help but imagine that little Theodore is going to inherit his parents’ athletic genes, and who knows — maybe we’ll see another Warner standing on podiums one day.