Q&A with Berkshire-based Olympian Helen Glover MBE

PUBLISHED: 12:16 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:22 19 August 2019

Helen Glover (Photo by Simon Clark)

Helen Glover (Photo by Simon Clark)


Olympic rower Helen lives in Cookham with husband Steve Backshall and has recently become a mum

Where do you live?

I live with my husband, Steve, and son, Logan, near Cookham. We live right on the river and are very lucky to have swans and ducks at our door each morning.

How's motherhood going?

I love it! I've been pleasantly surprised by how much I've enjoyed the day-to-day of being a mum. Logan is very smiley and enjoys everything we do, which makes it fun. He has never slept much (what is sleep anymore?!) but he flashes a grin in the morning and all is forgiven!

Why do you love Berkshire?

It is incredibly beautiful. A great place to spend time rowing on the river, paddle boarding on its lakes or cycling over its hills. I love that on a bike ride you can stumble across a new beautiful village or country pub almost every time.

Any favourite days out?

I love kayaking on the stretch of water below Cliveden, especially in the autmn when the trees are the most amazing colours.

Where do you dine out locally?

We're spoilt for choice and love the Bel & the Dragon in Cookham. Anong Thai on the High Street is also a fantastic place to eat when we are missing our travels.

Where do you get your competitive streak from?

I was born with it. My parents were always supportive but never pushy, and I've got two brothers and two sisters of varying degrees of competitiveness. I remember being driven when it came to sport (not so much with homework!)

Best moments in your career?

The London and Rio Olympics were very special. To win gold after so much hard training is pure satisfaction. The pride of a home games, and the buzz and party atmosphere of an away games made the two medals different but equally special.

What was it like receiving your MBE from the Queen?

Such a surreal experience. She was very chatty and interested. My mum, dad and gran were all sat in the front row and sharing that with them was amazing.

What's it like being married to Steve Backshall? Do you worry when he's away?

He trains hard for his expeditions and studies the animals before he ever goes into a situation. It's worrying when there is potential danger, but I know he has taken all due care. It's reassuring to get a satellite call from the top of a mountain telling me he's safe.

Tell us about your involvement with the Scouts

I was a scout when I was younger. It opened my world to the beauty of the outdoors and how the fields, rivers and trees were the best playground. I grew in confidence and leadership skills; it's something every young person should have the chance to experience.

What are your goals?

At the moment I'm loving being a mum to Logan and enjoying putting my energy into him. In the future I'd love to do a challenge that's out of my comfort zone.

Who inspires you?

My parents inspired me growing up, and through my rowing career I was inspired by my teammates. My rowing partner, Heather Stanning, is someone I took lots of life lessons from.

What's your motto in life?

Carpe diem. Seize the day!


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