8 August 11:11 (BST)

Olympic triathlon champion SPIRIG (SUI) now feeling joys of motherhood as well as medals

GLASGOW - Switzerland's Nicola SPIRIG (SUI) is the most-decorated female triathlete competing at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, with gold and silver from the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games and five European championship titles to her name.

The 36-year-old is also one of the busiest triathletes on the international circuit, juggling her training with being a mother to two small children, running a foundation to support young people in sport, and leading a series of mini-triathlon races for children across Switzerland.

SPIRIG admits having children has complicated her life.

"It's definitely harder, yes," she said of parenthood, "but I would never change it, I'm really happy with my life. It's really busy having the kids and also having a foundation, kids races, it's a lot of work.

"My husband [former triathlete Reto HUG] was taking care of the kids, we changed roles. I'm working and he's at home a lot of the time. I think I've learned to be more flexible and just take it as it comes."

Her son Yannis, who is five, took part in his first Kids Cup - a series of races set up by his mother - in St Moritz last week alongside more than 170 other children.

Showing a picture of her beaming son on a bike, SPIRIG says Yannis's joy at taking part is important to her. "He was smiling all the way, I was really proud of that," she said. "I want kids to have fun and see that sports can be really fun."

Yannis and SPIRIG's one-year-old daughter Malea are not in Glasgow, leaving her to focus on trying to win her sixth European championships title. After recovering from a hamstring injury, SPIRIG is positive about racing at Strathclyde Country Park.

"June and July I've been in St Moritz with my training squad and that's been really good. I think I'm in good shape - not Olympic shape but good shape. It's definitely a goal to try and win a medal."

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