"Helen doesn’t see a full stop, doesn’t see a ceiling. You’d have no idea she hadn’t been training this whole Olympiad" (Image: ©Gareth Davies)
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Helen Glover says becoming the first mum to make a British Olympic rowing team is the “biggest achievement” of her career.
After four years out of the sport to give birth to three children, the champion of London and Rio was yesterday picked for Tokyo.
Glover, 34, admitted she had dreamt of the moment without believing it would ever actually happen.
“It was nice to train to that daydream,” she admitted. “But the reality was very different -staying up with the twins, trying to fit in sessions here and there.
“To be here today I think is in some ways the biggest achievement of my career.”
Glover joins track cyclist Laura Kenny and taekwondo star Jade Jones in attempting to become the first GB woman to win gold in three different Games.
Glover with son Logan and twins Bo and Kit (Insta: helenglovergb)
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She teams up in the women’s pair with Polly Swann, whose own selection is remarkable in that she too stepped out of the boat – in her case to work for the NHS during the pandemic.
Swann, 33, said: “The thing with Helen is that eight years ago we were in a pair together, and I thought, 'Wow, what an athlete. She's exceptional. Her drive, and her passion is unmatched in the sport’.
“Eight years on she has three children. She's had four years out. And it's almost like, all of that has been heightened times 100."
Polly Swann won Olympic silver with Women's Eight in Rio
(Image: Daily Record)
She added: “You know, on a day to day basis you would have no idea Helen had been up all night looking after the twins. You would have no idea she hadn't been training this whole Olympiad.
“It's just a huge inspiration to be able to train with someone like Helen who that is that passionate, and is that determined, and doesn't see a full stop. Doesn't see a ceiling.”
The duo marked their comeback in April by winning European Championship gold in Italy, a victory that extended Glover’s unbeaten Championship record to nine years.
Glover and Heather Stanning with their Rio gold medals
(Image: Getty Images Europe)
“Before it was all about performances and that result at the Olympics,” said the Cornish heroine.
“But getting on the team represents something to my children – two-year old Logan and twins Bo and Kit, who are one – to show them what commitment and passion looks like.
“I wanted to try, I knew I might fail. So today feels like much more of a moment than it ever has done from my other two Olympic Games.
Going it alone this time: Vicky Thornley
(Image: Matt Cardy)
“This is a moment I can celebrate and get really excited and optimistic about what is to come.”
Vicky Thornley, who partnered Kath Grainger, Britain’s most decorated female Olympian, to double sculls silver in Rio, goes it alone this time in the single sculls.