The Duke of Cambridge joked “I’m not even good at one sport” as he wished Olympic boxing hopeful Lauren Price good luck for the Tokyo Games.
Prince William invited Miss Price, 27, to Kensington Palace to discuss her preparations for the Games, hearing how she had to balance training with driving a taxi at the weekends, “picking up all the drunks on a Friday and Saturday night”.
The Duke laughed: “I bet they didn’t mess with you though, Lauren.”
Miss Price described how she had started out playing football, gaining 52 caps for Wales, as well as becoming a four-time kickboxing world champion, before eventually switching to boxing aged 16.
The Duke told her: “You see Lauren, I have a problem, I’m not even good at one sport and you’re already good at three sports.”
The middleweight boxer, currently ranked world number one, outlined the challenges she had faced whilst training at home during the pandemic, revealing she had been reduced to doing squats with wheelie bins.
She admitted she had begun to doubt her ability after 18 months out of the ring, adding: “Mentally, it was very tough, challenging at times.”
She said: “To be fair to GB Boxing, they helped me out massively.
"They sent equipment out to me, weights. I was doing squats with wheelie bins, using them as squat racks. I had a lot of question marks in my head… 18 months out of the ring, it was ‘am I as good as I used to be?’”
Ms Price was raised in Ystrad Mynach, Glamorgan, by her grandparents who took her in when she was just three days old.
In the interview, for BBC Sport, she described her sadness that her grandfather, Derek, who was all but a father to her, died last year with dementia, meaning he did not get to see her qualify for the Olympics.
“It’s something I take with me in the ring,” she said. “I know he’s always looking down on me.”
She said she had dreamed of competing in the Olympics since she was eight years old, when she watched Kelly Holmes win gold at Athens in 2004.
READ MORE: Team GB 2020: who are the British athletes competing in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics?
“I didn’t know which sport I wanted to do, I just wanted to go to the Olympic Games,” she said.
“The Olympics mean the world to me and if I was to go and win a gold medal it would top everything in my career.”
The Duke told her: “I bet your grandparents are very proud of you and I’m sure you’ll make them even more proud come this Olympics, so well done.”
GB Boxing performance director Rob McCracken said: “She’s a phenomenal athlete and a real role model for the females, certainly at GB Boxing and in the team.
“She’s in a great position now to go on and fulfil her potential, which is winning an Olympic medal.”
Team GB 2020: who are the British athletes competing in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics?