Lora Fachie: Para-cycling champion says becoming a mother has presented big challenges

Two-time Paralympic champion Lora Fachie says becoming a mother has challenged her as an athlete in new ways.

Fachie, who is married to fellow Para-cyclist and Paralympic champion Neil, gave birth to son Fraser in November 2022, and told BBC Sport that motherhood is the hardest thing she has ever done.

“Pushing your body to the limit in training is hard and painful, but you are the one in control,” said the 35-year-old.

“As a parent, you aren’t necessarily in control and babies don’t come with a manual so you are constantly having to adjust and reassess and change plans.

“I was an athlete who likes a plan and sticks to it and I am quite a logical thinker and babies don’t do that, so it tests you, especially in the early days.”

Both Lora and Neil will be hoping for more success at the Para-cycling Track World Championships which start on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where they will be watched by Fraser.

They will be part of a 27-strong British team, which also includes Jody Cundy, Kadeena Cox and Jaco van Gass with all of the riders bidding to put in strong performances to help earn selection for this summer’s Paris Paralympics.

The Fachies, who both have visual impairments, provided one of the memorable moments of the Tokyo Games in 2021 when they both won gold within the space of an hour – first Neil and sighted pilot Matt Rotherham claimed victory in the B 1,000m time trial before Lora and Corrine Hall won the B 3km individual pursuit.

But those celebrations seemed a long way away in the early days of parenthood with challenges around Fraser’s birth and struggles around breastfeeding which prompted Lora to speak out – a move which helped open up a wider conversation around the subject.

“I wish I could go back to me of 12 months ago and say it will all be fine, but when you are living with it and caught up in it, it’s very hard, but things are definitely much better now,” she reflects.

“I don’t deal with failure very well, I know that, so it was just one knock after another and it took me to take a complete step back from it and change how we fed Fraser. Sometimes change is good and after that both of us started to thrive.”

Neil says: “For Lora to speak out was incredible. It was really heart-warming to hear all the stories from others who got in touch, some who were struggling, others who had gone through it but it was a community coming together.

“We thought it was a really important message to put out there. It was raw, it was hard but I think it helped Lora to process it. It certainly helped me to speak about it.”

As well as motherhood, Lora also had to deal with returning to training and competition and she made her comeback to action at last year’s World Championships in Glasgow, just eight months after giving birth.

SOURCE: BBC Sport   (go to source)
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