Olympic rower Helen Glover trained for Tokyo 2020 as her babies slept on just TWO HOURS of sleep a night
She is going to Tokyo 2020 for her third Olympics as part of Team GB.
And Helen Glover revealed on Friday that she was training for the Games while her three-year-old son Logan and one-year-old twins Willow and Kit took a nap.
The athlete, 35, told The Olympic Mile podcast in which she welcomes her children with her husband Steve Backshall, a TV presenter, who has given her “mom strength” and that she can exercise on just one or two hours of sleep a night.
Multitasking: Olympic rower Helen Glover revealed on Friday that she trained for Tokyo 2020 while her three-year-old son Logan and one-year-old twins Willow and Kit took a nap
Helen said: ‘When the babies were little I would train during naps, as soon as they went to sleep I would go to the rowing machine and train and stop when they woke up.
“I go through nights where I barely sleep an hour or two and go to training in the morning and I feel fine – that’s not normal!
“I couldn’t have done that before I had kids, so I guess there’s something to be said for ‘mama strength’!
“There’s a lot of coffee involved, but there’s definitely something about being a mother that I think just makes you want to keep going.”
‘I couldn’t have done that before’: The athlete said welcoming her children has given her ‘mom strength’ and she can now train on just one or two hours of sleep a night
Helen is the first woman to make a British Olympic rowing team after having children.
It has been five years since her last Olympics, in which she welcomed all three of her children.
The athlete previously won gold medals for rudderless pairs at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games and has been away from elite rowing for four years.
“There’s a lot of coffee involved, but there’s definitely something about being a mom that I think will keep you going,” Helen revealed on The Olympic Mile’s podcast
About her time away from elite sport, Helen revealed: ‘In the 5 years I’ve had the last Olympics, I haven’t kept up with rowing, I haven’t been in a rowboat at all.
“I kept my fitness level, but I left the sport behind and started a family. But then 2020 happened and I got a rowing machine at home,
“When the babies were napping, I did some exercise and it wasn’t until the end of the summer that it became clear that this [pandemic] was going to take a long time, the Olympics were postponed by a year, I started to see some good scores and I started to get that annoying problem in my head – I wondered if it was possible.”
Pioneer: Helen is the first woman to make a British Olympic rowing team after having children
She continued: ‘No woman has ever come back’ [after motherhood] and got into the Olympic team before rowing and I was just thinking… just wondering….
“It just started gnawing at me and I decided, okay if I’m still training, still enjoying it and if the kids are still happy by Christmas then I’ll try to get back on the team .
“I didn’t think I’d go on, but it just kept going!” she added.
Champion: The athlete previously won gold without handlebars at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games (pictured training ahead of Tokyo 2020 with her partner Polly Swann)
‘No woman has ever come back’ [after motherhood] and got on the Olympic team before rowing and I was just thinking…just wondering…’ Helen said of her incredible comeback
And Helen revealed that her daughter especially inspired her to keep training and committed to her return to rowing.
She said: ‘I looked at my little girl Willow and thought in 20 years when you make decisions, I just don’t want you to be held back by any fear, by any doubt, by any pressure from society’
“I just want you to feel… even if you don’t make it, it doesn’t matter because you tried.”
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will run from July 23 to August 8 and Helen’s first qualifying round will take place tomorrow.
The Olympic Mile can be heard on BBC sounds.
‘I just don’t want her to be held back by any pressure from society’: Helen revealed that her daughter Willow was the main inspiration for her to keep working out