University boat race hero James Cracknell says he’s not unhappy – despite splitting from his wife Beverley Turner.
The 46-year-old double Olympic gold medallist admits his life has changed dramatically, but he is enjoying being a student again.
He’s studying a masters degree in human evolution at Cambridge University.
Earlier this month he became the oldest rower by more than 10 years when his Light Blues team won the famous Boat Race against Oxford’s Dark Blues.
After the triumph, James said: “I do feel a lot younger, having been able to hang around with 20-year-olds.
“I am trying not to live like a student, but that is the reality of it.”
He has since said he would like to do next year’s boat race as well.
His marriage to Bev, 45, mother of his three sons, ended last month after 17 years.
The couple had been candid about the difficulties they have faced since 2010.
That year, James suffered a brain injury after being hit by a lorry wing mirror during a cycle ride across the US.
He said: “Hopefully it will all work out with the kids. It will be a different family unit. It is not going to be the same, but they are important. I want to support the boys.”
He said of the marriage split: “We told the kids before Christmas. Both Bev and I dealt with the emotional stuff and got over it.”
Speaking at the BT Sports Awards last week, he said: “The emotional stuff had been gone through before that.
“The way I look at it is that you can’t have the benefits of being in the public eye and then moan about it when the headlines don’t go how you want them to. It is a story and that is it.”
And he says he is not bothered by being mocked for his age.
“To be honest, it is more insulting for the young rowers because that is when it becomes a thing. When you are older, it does not matter what someone says. It does not really bother you.
“When you are 18 or 19 and you are, say, a footballer and you are too young to play, that is disheartening.
“When you know you have earned your place, it is fine.”
And he says he has no worries about turning 50, adding: “It is more when you have an eldest child (who) is 16. That is when you feel old and you relive your childhood in a very different way. You are now guiding someone.
“You pass on the lessons you have learned.
“If you look after yourself in your twenties or thirties, you’ll age a lot smarter.”
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