Life has always flashed by at speed for Chemmy Alcott and Amy Williams but never more so than last year when the good friends, TV presenters and former GB winter Olympians both became mums. "The year has been crazy,” says British downhill skier Chemmy, whose little boy Locki celebrated his first birthday in January. "It seems like only yesterday that I first held him in my arms. That was so powerful and the most life-changing moment of my whole existence. Yet at the same time I look at him now and can’t believe how big he is and how much he has changed."
Olympic gold- medallist mum Amy, mum to Oscar, agrees. “It was such a countdown to the birth and then, once they are born, there are so many milestones," she says. While the 35-year-old Olympians have a gold and silver medal stash between them – Amy for skeleton and Chemmy for downhill – today it is the achievements of their little boys that is the topic of conversation.
Amy Williams' son Oscar
Both mums have excelled at high- speed, high-risk sports, so how would they feel if their sons chose to follow in their footsteps? "As a mum you want to wrap them up in cotton wool, but I wouldn’t be able to say no because I’d be a hypocrite," says Amy, who is married to Craig Ham, a warrant officer with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. "I’ve gone off and done these crazy things, so I will fully support whatever Oscar wants to do as long as he has a passion for something – even if I do have my heart in my mouth." The same will be true of Locki. "Whether he wants to be a skier or not will be up to him, but he’ll love the mountains. He’s already been sledging even though he can’t walk yet, and he loved it. If he can grow up and see his parents are driven by passion, and can see they can make a living out of doing something they love, then there’s no healthier environment than that," says Chemmy, who first took to the slopes at just 18 months old. Motherhood has brought a big change to both their lives. Four-time Winter Olympian Chemmy, who represented Team GB over 20 years, says: "As a professional athlete, maybe I had a bigger ego when I raced, but I look at mums and they’re the ones doing the truly amazing things. Mums are the superheroes of our society: up all night, working all day.
Chemmy Alcott's son Locki
"Being an athlete is relatively simple: you’re putting your body on the line but it’s a very selfish existence. You train hard, you eat well, you work out in a gym, you get psychologically stronger and you deliver on a race day. But as a mum you have to be thinking about so many different things and doing so much." Amy agrees. "Chemmy and I have been lucky as we’ve both achieved what we wanted to do, and now Oscar is the most important thing. My aim is to bring up this really happy child, make sure he is good person and gets to live his own dreams."
Their paths have crossed many times – Chemmy remembers vividly watching with Team GB when Amy won gold for Great Britain at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, hurtling down the track on her skeleton bob in less than a minute. "We wish we lived closer together," says Chemmy of Amy, who drove from her Bathampton home in Somerset for the HELLO! shoot in December 2017.
For the past few years, the home Chemmy shares with her husband, former professional skier Dougie Crawford, has undergone extensive renovation. Retired from professional skiing, the couple now run their own business CDC Performance, to help young people develop life skills through sport, and Chemmy also returned to her presenting role for BBC's Ski Sunday. The heart of their home is the Shaker-style kitchen designed by 1909. "I had Christmas in my vision when we had it fitted – I said I need a really big double oven for the turkey and pigs in blankets. "We are always traditional; we go to the village church then come home and have lunch, and no-one is allowed to open presents until after the Queen's speech – we even make a bet on what colour the Queen is going wear."