Jacqui Lachmann (nee Lawrence) on the water at Old Bonalbo after returning from Beijing with a silver medal in the kayak slalom.
Jacqui Lachmann (nee Lawrence) on the water at Old Bonalbo after returning from Beijing with a silver medal in the kayak slalom.

Tackling a new challenge

FOUR years ago today Olympic slalom kayaker Jacqui Lachmann (nee Lawrence) was in a state of wide-eyed excitement as she prepared to compete in the Beijing Games.

The then 26-year-old would go on to clinch a silver medal, generating fever pitch excitement in her home town of Old Bonalbo and across the Northern Rivers.

Following her retirement post-Games, today Jacqui's life in Sydney as wife to fellow Olympian Torsten and full-time mum to seven-month old Lina seems a world away.

But there are some similarities, insists Jacqui, who has long-term plans to move back to the region.

"Probably part of what it takes to be an athlete at that level in terms of dedication and single-mindedness has helped me be a mum," she says, as Lina fusses in her arms.

"I think it's certainly more important and more fulfilling and there'll probably be harder times than you have as an athlete in the future as well.

"In some ways I can't believe it was four years ago, and in some other ways it feels like a lifetime away, things have changed so much."

Jacqui expects to mark the fourth anniversary of her silver medal win by watching the video footage of the thrilling race, something she has done most years since.

She'll show the footage to baby Lina too when she's old enough to understand the heights her mum achieved.

The now 30-year-old is also looking forward to watching her event on TV during the London Olympics which kicks off on Friday because she knows many of the Australian and international competitors.

But Jacqui is adamant that even London Games fever will not cause her to regret her retirement from international sport.

"It was very much time for me to stop. There's been no 'what ifs'," she says.



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