Rebecca Adlington has credited her mother Kay for her successful career. Speaking exclusively to HELLO!, the Olympic champion revealed she wouldn't be where she was today if it wasn't for all the love her family have given her – particularly her mother, who sacrificed her job in order to take her to all her training sessions. "It's pretty much all down to my mum, she is literally my superhero," explained Rebecca. "We lived about 45 minutes away from the swimming pool when I was growing up. So my mum was getting up at half four in the morning, taking me to training. She then gave up her job because it was so much time in the car."
She added: "I've also got two sisters and she never neglected them and took them for granted even though she was ferrying me around and taking me to competitions. She gave each of us so much time and dedication. She had to become my nutritionist and trainer, be my taxi driver, and be my financial support as well as my emotional support. She literally became my everything. I've actually left two of my Olympic medals at my mum and dad's as they are half theirs just as they are mine – so they deserve to have them as much as I do."
Rebecca Adlington has credited her mother Kay for her successful career
The competitive swimmer, 28, won two gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in the 400-metre freestyle and 800-metre freestyle. She was Britain's first Olympic swimming champion since 1988, and the first British swimmer to win two Olympic gold medals since 1908. Rebecca has also won won bronze medals in both the women's 400-metre and 800-metre freestyle events in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In 2013, she announced she was retiring from all competitive swimming.
"It's pretty much all down to my mum, she is literally my superhero," explained Rebecca
When asked about taking advice from others, Rebecca said her mother is the first person she turns to. "My mum has just given me so much love and so much honesty," she revealed. "We're a bit too honest in our family. But she has also brought me up to be honest about everything. Sometimes some people see it as a bad thing as I'm perhaps too opinionated. There's no grey line in our family, we're very black and white and I love that we are like that. As an athlete it's taught me to trust my own instincts, my own morals. My mum has fundamentally driven that and I hope to pass it on to my child."
In 2015, Rebecca and her ex-husband Harry Needs welcomed daughter Summer together. Talking about how her relationship with her own mum has changed since having a child, the TV star added: "Since giving birth and becoming a mum myself, it has really bonded us in a totally different way. My mum is the only person in the world I trust to give me advice when it comes to my daughter. Whenever I'm struggling with something. So many people throw their opinions at you when you become a mum but I just trust my mum's advice whole heartedly. It's now lovely to see her be a grandmother to my daughter, she absolutely loves her."