Family comes first for Sarah

Olympic taekwondo athlete, Sarah Stevenson.
Olympic taekwondo athlete, Sarah Stevenson.

GOLD medal hope Sarah Stevenson has put her London 2012 Olympic preparations on hold - and she says from now on family comes first.

Tae kwon do star Stevenson, from Bentley, would ordinarily have been fighting in the British Open at the weekend.

But, sadly for the 28-year-old, this year has been anything but ordinary.

The Olympic Games bronze medallist in 2008 and double world champion lost her father Roy to a brain tumour in July, and she is currently spending most of her time in Doncaster caring for her mother Diana, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer in January.

Sarah told the Free Press: “The last nine months have been awful, it’s just been one thing after another.

“My mum’s not in a good way and I’m spending as much time as possible with her.

“Sport is secondary to everything at the moment.

“I’m trying to keep fit when I can, and I’m thinking about entering the French Open in December, but I’m not really thinking about tae kwon do at the moment.

“At times like these you realise that other things in life are more important.

“It’s taught me a bit of a lesson really.”

Stevenson won her second world title in May and is expected to be among Britain’s best hopes for a gold medal when the Olympics arrive in London next year.

As well as the option of entering the French Open, she also has next year’s European Championships in Manchester as preparation for the biggest sports show on the planet.

Stevenson says everything she does in sport from now on will be dedicated to her family.

“Everything I do will be for my family,” she said.

“My parents are the reason I’m a champion.

“They did everything for me.

“My dad put himself out of pocket, knocked on people’s doors and businesses just trying to get some support for me.

“I owe them everthing.

“All my mum keeps saying is ‘You need to go and win that medal in 2012 love’.”