Olympic champion Katie Archibald admits to lockdown struggles

The 26-year-old won gold as part of the women’s team pursuit squad at Rio 2016.

By Press Association Published: 11 July 2020 - 12.10pm

Olympic cycling champion Katie Archibald has admitted she struggled to cope with the reality of lockdown life but intends to emerge from the crisis with a fresh perspective.

The 26-year-old, who won gold as part of the women’s team pursuit squad at Rio 2016, said fears of disruption to her training regime have been overshadowed by emerging issues much closer to home.

“My dad runs a bed shop and the kind of changes that have gone on there – for a couple of weeks he was thinking everything was going to go under. He was calmly and coldly saying, ‘we’ll go bust, it’s all over’,” Archibald told the PA news agency.

“The fact that within just a few days with the furlough scheme, those conversations seem quite far away now is a comfort.

“There’s a conflict, not just with this lifestyle through lockdown, but this lifestyle whenever. You have this conflict in your mind of the obvious gratitude you should feel for such a lifestyle.

“Not everyone has that privilege, so it feels kind of messy to say I really struggle doing what I love all day, and particularly now when people are seriously struggling.”

Archibald (right) won gold in Rio
Archibald, right, won gold in Rio (David Davies/PA)

Archibald has spent the majority of the lockdown period in Scotland where she has been resolutely avoiding the opportunity to make the time pass quicker by engaging in any kind of hobby.

“My hobbies are watching races back and the accompanying spread-sheets,” she admitted. “I can do anything sat down with a big screen – I can watch films or Wikipedia.

“I bought a jigsaw on the wave of enthusiasm that everyone’s having, but it took so long to arrive because everyone’s ordering jigsaws.

“It arrived pre-made, so when the box turned up I thought, ‘oh good, I’ll do it’, but after five minutes of undoing it, it just seemed like so depressing a task.”

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