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British cyclist Laura Kenny shared miscarriage heartbreak "to help support others"

The Team GB rider said the events of the last six months would have left her “broken” had it not been for the support of her seven-time Olympic champion husband Jason Kenny and their son, Albie. 

4 min By Chloe Merrell
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(Picture by 2018 Getty Images)

On 22 April Great Britain’s most successful female Olympian Laura Kenny revealed that she suffered a miscarriage last year and then had a fallopian tube removed due to an ectopic pregnancy in January.

The 30-year-old cyclist shared her heartbreak on social media just a day after winning silver in team pursuit at the UCI Track Nations Cup in Glasgow last month.

Kenny’s success with the British team prompted her to open up about her painful journey to the track for the first time since Tokyo 2020 where she became an Olympic champion for the fifth time in addition to winning silver in the team pursuit.

“It’s been the hardest few months I’ve ever had to go through,” wrote Kenny in an Instagram post. “Jason and I fell pregnant immediately after the games and we were absolutely chuffed to bits. But unfortunately in November when commentating at the track champions league I miscarried our baby at 9 weeks. I’ve never felt so lost and felt like a part of me had been torn away."

Seeking comfort in cycling, Kenny ound herself once more in her "happy place." But after catching Covid and living symptoms atypical to the virus, the Cheshire-based rider took herself to hospital where she was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy:

“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 theatre because I was having an ectopic pregnancy. Scared doesn’t even come close. I lost a fallopian tube that day.”

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg implants itself outside of the womb, typically in one of the fallopian tubes. If left untreated an ectopic pregnancy can cause internal bleeding, infection, and, in some instances, lead to death.

"I’ve always known I was tough, but sometimes life pushes you to an unbearable limit," continued Laura, who is married to nine-time Olympic medallist Jason Kenny. "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 Nations cup."

MORE: Laura Kenny: Why my son Albie motivates me more than medals

Laura Kenny: It shouldn't be 'brave' to talk about miscarriage

After sharing her story, Kenny found herself inundated by waves of support from fans and Olympians alike. The cyclist was left in awe at the response.

"I have been completely overwhelmed by all the messages and stories I have received," Kenny wrote following on from her initial Instagram post. "I knew I was sharing a very personal story to help and support others, but I didn’t quite realise how many people would get in touch."

The reaction prompted the three-time Olympian to reflect on the taboo of miscarriage and the supposed “courage” of speaking out.

"It feels ‘brave’ talking about miscarriage and baby loss. But it shouldn’t be," continued Kenny. “"ason and I felt lonely going through it and like we had taken happiness away from our families by not telling them. They didn’t get the joy of thinking another baby was on the way, only the sad.

"Miscarriage is a lot more common than people realise which is why I have decided to share our heartbreak, to help support others.”

Kenny then encouraged her followers to share their stories in the comments of her post so that everyone could understand both the pain and regularity of miscarriage.

In Tokyo, Kenny won gold in the madison with Katie Archibald before clinching silver in the team pursuit taking her Olympic medal tally to five golds and one silver. Her five golds mean she is most successful female British Olympian of all time, while her total medal count leaves her tied for most decorated British female Olympian with equestrian star Charlotte Dujardin.

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