British rower Helen Glover is aiming high for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France. The 2012 Olympic Gold medalist has set her sights on becoming a three-time champion and taking home another gold medal.
Glover started rowing at 16 when she joined a club near her family’s farm in Cornwall. She competed at the University of Bath, where she won a bronze medal at the British Universities Rowing Championships in 2005. After completing her studies, she joined the GB Rowing Team and became an elite athlete.
In 2012, Glover won Gold alongside her partner Heather Stanning in the Women’s Pairs event at the London Olympics. She became the first female British rower to win an Olympic Gold medal and only the second British athlete in any sport to defend their title successfully.
After welcoming her three children into the world, Glover has returned triumphantly to competitive rowing and is determined to compete in her fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
When Glover, 36, was asked by BBC Sport about her motivation for the upcoming Paris Olympics compared with London 2012 and Rio 2016, she stated: “The aim for London 2012 and Rio 2016 was to win, but for Tokyo, it was just to make the team and show what women can do. For Paris, though, my drive combines both; I want to demonstrate how much potential we have as women while making the most out of what my body is capable of.”
In fact, at Tokyo Games, this became a reality when she became Britain’s first mother to row in an Olympic event – finishing fourth alongside Polly Swann in the Women’s Pairs.
Despite society’s stigmas around her age, children and taking a break from the sport, Glover remains confident that she can perform just as well in her 20s. She trained with the British squad for six months before winning at the Women’s Single trials last November. Her determination to achieve greatness is derived from being both a mother and an athlete; “[I] wouldn’t be as motivated [without my kids]. Being a mum makes me a better rower, and being a rower makes me a better mum!”
As cheers and chants of “go Mummy!” filled the air, Glover’s husband – wildlife TV presenter Steve Backshall – happily embraced his duties as a dad while she practised. When she competed in Tokyo 2021, her twins were just one year old, and her son was three. If selected for Paris 2024 Olympics, they will be able to recognize their mother’s incredible accomplishment with more clarity this time around!
“My son, Logan, is catching on and takes immense pride when I strive for another Olympics,” exclaimed Glover.
“The twins are my biggest supporters – they’re constantly rooting ‘go Mummy!’ from the sidelines. It’s a strange sensation since before their arrival. My sole identity was being an athlete full-time. Now it feels like two lives exist side by side; while sports will always be meaningful to me, nothing surpasses loving them.”
Helen Glovers’ Rowing History
In 2015-16, she was the number 1 female rower in the world. She undisputedly earned her place as a two-time Olympic champion, triple World Champion, quintuple World Cup Champion, quadruple European Champion and British Championship titleholder of women’s fours and quadruple sculls. Partnering with Heather Stanning led to remarkable accomplishments like becoming three record-holders plus being crowned champions at the Olympics, Worlds and Europe Competitions for coxless pairs.
In 2012, at the Summer Olympics, Helen teamed up with Heather Stanning to become Olympic champions in women’s coxless pairs; this was Team GB’s first Gold medal of the games and marked British women’s rowing’s inaugural victory. To top it all off, she won BBC’s Olympic Superstars game show later that year!
In 2013, Anna Watkins made history when she and her partner Polly Swann clinched the gold medal at the World Rowing Championships in South Korea. She continued her winning streak by becoming the first woman to win Olympic, World and European titles for coxless pair at 2014’s European Championship in Belgrade. Furthermore, with Heather Stanning as a teammate that same year, they broke records while defending their world title during Amsterdam’s World Rowing Championships.
In 2015, their rowing prowess shone when they have crowned world champions at the World Rowing Championships in Lac d’Aiguebelette, France. A year later, they retained their European title and set a new World Rowing Cup record at Poznan before securing Gold again on the Olympic stage in Rio de Janeiro. After this success, she retired to start a family but returned to action once more in 2021 – winning her third consecutive European Coxless Pair championship alongside Polly Swann in Varese!
She and Swann placed fourth in the Tokyo Summer Olympics, making her the first British mother to compete. When reflecting on such an incredible achievement amidst a pandemic year, Glover exclaimed, “Everyone will remember 2020 for different reasons, but I’m going to think ‘, That was the year that took me to another Olympics?’ – which is just crazy!”
Q: What is Helen Glover’s Rowing History?
A: Helen Glover has achieved remarkable accomplishments in her rowing career, such as becoming a two-time Olympic champion, triple World Champion, quintuple World Cup Champion, quadruple European Champion and British Championship titleholder of women’s fours and quadruple sculls. In 2012, at the Summer Olympics, she teamed up with Heather Stanning to become Olympic champions in women’s coxless pairs; this was Team GB’s first Gold medal of the games and marked British women’s rowing’s inaugural victory. In 2015-16, she was the number 1 female rower in the world. In 2021, she won her third consecutive European Coxless Pair championship alongside Polly Swann in Varese!
Q: What is Helen Glover most proud of?
A: Helen Glover is proud to be a two-time Olympic champion, triple World Champion and quintuple World Cup Champion. She also takes immense pride in striving for another Olympics, this time as a mother, and completing the journey despite a pandemic year. In her words, “Everyone will remember 2020 for different reasons, but I’m going to think ‘, That was the year that took me to another Olympics?’ – which is just crazy!” Above all else, though, her love for her family stands out the most.
Q: What awards has Helen Glover won?
A: Helen Glover has won numerous awards for her rowing accomplishments, such as becoming a two-time Olympic champion, triple World Champion, quintuple World Cup Champion, quadruple European Champion and British Championship titleholder of women’s fours and quadruple sculls. She also won BBC’s Olympic Superstars game show in 2012. In 2021, she won her third consecutive European Coxless Pair championship alongside Polly Swann in Varese!
Q: What is Helen Glover’s goal?
A: Helen Glover has had several remarkable accomplishments throughout her rowing career, and she strives to continue breaking records and achieving her goals. Her ultimate goal is to continue pushing herself to the limits and inspire those in the rowing community. She said, “I want to inspire other people, show them that you can have a family and still be able to achieve your dreams.” She also seeks to set an example for young athletes by continuing to push herself and strive to reach new heights. In addition, she hopes that her story can inspire athletes of all ages in any sport that they can achieve anything despite facing immense challenges.