United Kingdom

Helen Glover says she wants to encourage her kids to make 'bold choices'

Helen Glover says having children made her 'stronger' after becoming the first British rower to compete at an Olympics as a mother. 

The athlete, 35, who won gold in 2012 and 2016, returned to training in March 2020 following four years away to have son Logan James David and twins, Kit and Willow with her husband Steve Backshall.  

After coming in fourth place in the women's event in Tokyo, Helen said that physically adapting after her pregnancy was the 'most empowering part' after her comeback to the sport. 

Appearing on Lorraine today from her Berkshire home, Helen said that she was inspired to enter the sport again during lockdown to encourage her three kids to make 'bold choices' that 'make them happy' in the future. 

The athlete, 35, who won in 2012 and 2016, returned to training in March 2020 following four years away to have son Logan James David and twins, Kit and Willow with her husband Steve Backshall

'I think that was the most empowering part of it, I felt "I wonder if I'll ever be there athlete I was, will I ever be that strong?". There's something that changes in you when you have children and I think I was stronger.' 

The mum had to start drinking more water and taking supplements while breastfeeding, and began taking calcium after a rib fracture. 

She added: 'There was a lot of learning and I think that's part of being the first to do it, making little mistakes so others won't have to in the future.' 

The mum, who missed out on the bronze medal after losing to New Zealand, the Russian Olympic Committee and Canada last month, said that just getting to the competition after becoming a mum will teach her kids to 'take chances'. 

Appearing on Lorraine today from her Berkshire home, Helen Glover said having children made her 'stronger' as she became the first British rower to compete at an Olympics after becoming a mother

The mum missed out on the bronze medal after losing to New Zealand, the Russian Olympic Committee and Canada last month. She is pictured with Team GB's Polly Swann following their race 

'I started this because I wanted them to see bold choices', she said. 'To take chances and go for things that make them happy. 

'I thought, what better way to teach that than physically showing them everyday what it takes to try and work hard for something? 

'I'd love to think in the future this is somewhere ingrained in them and in the future when they go to make choices, they'll make exciting and bold ones.'

Despite having no ambitions to competitively row again, Helen decided she would try and get back onto Team GB after getting fit on her rowing machine during lockdown. 

She said: 'I raced in London and Rio and I was really done. I had nothing left to do in the sport and felt really complete. I had four years away - didn't even get in a boat, go on a rowing machine. 

Helen told host Christine Lampard that she was inspired to enter the sport again during lockdown to encourage her three kids to make 'bold choices' that 'make them happy' in the future

Helen said her husband Steve was totally supportive of her decision, and that she thinks 'having something else in her life' has made her a better mother

'When we went into lockdown, I had the twins in 2020 and thought "I'm going to get fit, I'll go on the only piece of equipment I have in my house". 

'When I realised lockdown is going to be longer than we thought, I thought, "I wondered if I could get back into the team in a year" and no one has ever done that before, come back as a mother and I thought - "I would love to show my babies that is possible".'   

Helen said her husband Steve was totally supportive of her decision, and that she thinks 'having something else in her life' has made her a better mother. 

She said: 'When I said to Steve in the lockdown of 2020, "I think I might want to make another Olympic team", he couldn't believe it, we were just going into lockdown, the babies were just weeks old, there was no certainty in the world. 

'I needed that certainty, It was great to have something else in my life, it almost makes you a better mum, re-energises you.' 

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