Helen Glover MBE

Two time Olympic Gold Medallist and number one female rower in the world

Helen Glover was one of the most prominent sporting stars to emerge from the 2012 Olympic Games, typifying the ideal that hard work breeds success. Now a two time Olympic champion, triple World and European champion, and quintuple World Cup champion, she has been described by GB rowing coaches as a ‘once in a generation athlete’. What few realise though is that Glover had never even sat in a row boat just four years before topping the podium at London 2012.

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Helen Glover is a two time Olympic champion, triple World and European champion, and quintuple World Cup champion. As of June 2016, she and her partner Heather Stanning were the World, Olympic, World Cup and European record holders, plus the reigning Olympic, World and European champions in the women’s coxless pairs. She has also been a British champion in both women’s fours and quad sculls.

Helen grew up in Penzance, where her father runs the local ice cream shop. Despite junior international representation at running and hockey, she seemed destined to take up a career as a sports teacher. On a whim she signed up to the talent ID program ‘Sporting Giants’, and was earmarked by British rowing as a rare talent. Within months she began her world beating career with under 23 champion Heather Stanning. After world championship silver, they took their first gold and were never beaten again.

Following London 2012 Heather took a year with the army in Afghanistan, and Helen was forced to partner another rower, remaining unbeaten and taking another World title. The Olympiad was fraught with challenges including bike crashes, illness, injury and their trusted coach Robin being diagnosed with cancer. Helen battled through, becoming the number one ranked rower in the world.

Helen has not retired from rowing, and is leaving the door open for a possible return for the Paris Olympics. During her break from professional sport Helen has embarked on a variety of other ventures, with standout achievements including broadcasting for Radio Four’s ‘After Gold’, authoring ‘Great Lives’ also for Radio Four, presenting Japan’s secret Wilderness for BBC2, commentated on rowing for BBC Sports, and appearing on a variety of shows including Question of Sport, Strictly Come Dancing for Children in Need, Celebrity Pointless, the Celebrity BoatRace and the Apprentice.

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