Five-time Olympic gold medalist Dame Laura Kenny has revealed she suffered a miscarriage in November last year and then had one of her fallopian tubes removed in January due to an ectopic pregnancy.
Kenny was part of the British team which won silver in the women’s pursuit at the Nations Cup in Glasgow on Thursday, but revealed on Friday morning the personal difficulties she had overcome in order to compete.
Kenny, who has won six Olympic medals overall, said the events of the last six months would have left her “broken” without the support of her husband, nine-time Olympic medalist Jason Kenny, and their son Albie.
“Since the Olympics we haven’t had much luck and it’s been the hardest few months I’ve ever had to go through,” she wrote on Instagram.
“Jason and I fell pregnant immediately after the Games and we were absolutely chuffed to bits. But unfortunately in November when commenting at the track champions league I miscarried our baby at 9 weeks. I’ve never felt so lost and sad. It felt like a part of me had been torn away.
“I grabbed for my safety blanket, bike riding! I found myself back in my happy place training again. I then caught Covid in mid-January and found myself feeling really very unwell.
“I didn’t have typical covid symptoms and I just felt I needed to go to hospital. A day later I found myself in A&E being rushed to theater because I was having an ectopic pregnancy. Scared doesn’t even come close. I lost a fallopian tube that day.
Kenny added: “I’ve always known I was tough, but sometimes life pushes you to an unbearable limit. If it wasn’t for Jason and Albie getting me through the day to day I’d have been broken.
“But here I am, with the support of my family, friends and team-mates, on the podium of a nation’s cup.”
Kenny also gave her backing to comments this week from Tokyo gold medal-winning Madison team-mate Katie Archibald, who criticized sport’s governing bodies over how they have handled the issue of transgender inclusion.
Archibald released a statement on Wednesday blaming cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, for putting Emily Bridges at the center of the debate on transgender inclusion.
“It is my opinion that the international governing bodies of several sports have let down transgender athletes, in particular transgender women, with their inclusion policies,” Archibald wrote.
“These policies have put the athletes, their involvement in sport, and their personal lives under intense scrutiny when all the athletes have done is follow the rules and enter a category they were encouraged to enter.
“I, too, feel let down by these policies. I feel let down by the International Olympic Committee who tell me there should be no assumed advantage for an athlete with a gender identity different to their sex from her.
“I read this and hear that my world titles, my Olympic medals, and the champions jerseys I have at home, were all won in a category of people who simply don’t try as hard as the men. That losing to male androgenisation is not about biology, but mindset. They are wrong.
“The retained advantage of people who have gone through male puberty in strength, stamina, and physique, with or without testosterone suppression, has been well documented.
“Cycling’s global governing body, by its president’s own admission, knows this. But they chose to delay action until it became sadly personal for one rider. That wasn’t fair.”
Kenny wrote on Twitter: “I couldn’t agree more – well said, well written, thank you @_katiearchibald.”