(Reuters) – Laura Kenny, Britain’s five-time Olympic gold medallist, said she contemplated walking away from cycling at the start of this year after a miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy left her at “breaking point”.
Kenny said in April she had miscarried at nine weeks in November and had had a fallopian tube removed in January due to an ectopic pregnancy – when a fertilised egg implants itself outside the womb.
The 30-year-old won the madison at last year’s Tokyo Games, where her husband, Jason, became Britain’s most decorated Olympian, with seven golds in cycling.
“I felt like nothing was going our way at all,” Kenny told British media on Monday. “January was a tipping point, I was at breaking point. Without Jason, I think I’d have just canned everything, just gone, ‘You know what, I can’t even cope with doing any of this (cycling).'”
“But I grabbed for my safety blanket and decided I needed to ride my bike again. That’s what I’ve done for the last 13 years. It feels like a safe place.
“It put lots of things into perspective…. It really did make me think, ‘Why am I doing this?’ It’s because I enjoy it, that’s why, and it made me realise that more than ever.”
Kenny will represent England in the team pursuit, scratch race and points race at the Commonwealth Games from Friday, returning to the London velodrome track where she delighted the home crowd with her first two Olympic successes a decade ago.
Kenny, who won the points race gold at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, said she would head into this year’s event with low expectations and a relaxed mindset.
“I don’t know whether it is because I never really thought the Commonwealth Games was going to be a target, because we were planning on having another little one by now,” added Kenny, whose son Albie was born in 2017.
“I feel more relaxed than ever…. I’m so excited just to get out in front of a home crowd again.”
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Hyderabad; Editing by Bradley Perrett)