Dame Laura Kenny has admitted she nearly quit cycling at the beginning of 2022, after suffering a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy shortly after one another.
The five-time Olympic gold medallist revealed in April that she suffered a miscarriage at nine weeks in November. Then, in January, she had a fallopian tube removed due to an ectopic pregnancy - when a fertilised egg implants itself outside the womb.
For the-then 29-year-old, this nearly proved too much to continue with her cycling career, but for the support of her husband, Jason Kenny, and son Albie.
“I felt like nothing was going our way at all,” said Kenny. “January was a tipping point, I was at breaking point. Without Jason, I think I’d have just canned everything and just gone, ‘You know what, I can’t even cope with doing any of this’.
"But I grabbed for my safety blanket and decided I needed to ride my bike again. People were probably thinking, 'What on earth is she doing?' But riding is what I’ve done for the last 13 years. It feels like a safe place.
"The obvious thing to do when I felt that sad and that broken was to go out and ride my bike again. It puts lots of things into perspective, because I was really quite poorly and even seeing Jason, the way he was around me, made me realise my family was under so much stress.
“It made us realise cycling's one thing," she added, "but life is another and it brought us back to earth.”
Kenny returned to the track in April, at the Nations Cup in Glasgow. She picked up a team pursuit silver medal, and now has her attentions focussed on the Commonwealth Games, which begins on Friday 29 July.
She will represent England in the team pursuit, scratch race and points race, at the same venue where she won two Olympic gold medals a decade ago. Because she didn't expect to be competing in the Commonwealth Games towards the end of last year, Kenny is coming into the event in a comfortable state of mind without any expectations.
“I don’t know whether it is because I never really thought the Commonwealth Games were going to be a target, because we were planning on having another little one by now, but I feel more relaxed than ever.
"I’m so excited just to get out in front of a home crowd again.”
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Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.
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