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Rebecca Adlington thanks daughter Summer for making her smile after 'lifetime of sad days' this year

Gemma Strong
Gemma StrongOnline Digital News Director
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It's been a difficult year for Rebecca Adlington following the end of her marriage to Harry Needs in March, but the Olympic star draws strength from her 16-month-old daughter Summer- as she revealed in a touching Instagram post shared on Tuesday.

Becky uploaded a very sweet snapshot of her and her little girl smiling together for the camera, as she opened up about life as a single parent.

Rebecca Adlington says she has had a © Photo: Instagram

Rebecca Adlington thanked daughter Summer for making her smile after a "lifetime" of sad days this year

"Everyone has sad days, I've had what feels like a lifetime of them this year," she wrote. "I'm so grateful and lucky to have this little one in my life, she makes me smile every single day. She is my favourite human. ? #blessed."

Her post understandably struck a chord with fans. "Lovely pic, I'm the same, just look at my 2 kids n they brighten up even the darkest day," one commented, while another wrote: "I have been in that boat this year too, but children are special people. Sending lots of love & luck." A third added: "Don't be sad… you are beautiful. And obviously a fantastic mother x."

Rebecca Adlington with her daughter Summer© Photo: Instagram

The Olympic swimmer welcomed her little girl in June 2015

Rebecca and fellow swimmer Harry shocked fans when they announced their split earlier this year, after 18 months of marriage. But they have worked hard to maintain a good relationship for the sake of their little girl.

"It's not like we're not talking, because we are – we talk all the time," 27-year-old Rebecca told the Irish Mirror in April. "We are both just working hard on trying to be good parents, and our total focus is on our daughter."

Rebecca Adlington and husband Harry Needs announce their split

Rebecca and Harry Needs sadly announced their split in March

The former couple, who tied the knot in August 2014, confirmed the end of their marriage in a joint statement on Rebecca's website on 15 March.

It read: "It's after much thought and sadness that we confirm our separation. It is on amicable terms and we still remain close friends. We move forward with respect for one another and our focus and commitment is on parenting our gorgeous daughter Summer. This will be our only comment on this private matter. Becky and Harry."