British Royal Family

Zara Phillips gets candid about being a mum and an Olympic athlete

She’s the Queen’s oldest granddaughter and an Olympic silver medalist, but for Zara Phillips, motherhood has been her greatest challenge yet.

By Blake Nadilo
Zara Phillips and her husband, former rugby world champion Mike Tindall, welcomed their baby girl, Mia almost two years ago and now the royal mum is well and truly off maternity leave.
The 34-year-old is currently in the midst of an intense training schedule for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 and despite motherhood as well as the struggle of returning to competitive sport, she’s more determined than ever.
“I've found when people say 'well now you've had a baby you won't be able to do what you used to,' that makes me even more determined," the mum-of-one told the Telegraph.
“Everyone is so different in how they get through competition, but I think what everyone has in common is that you perform better if you can relax. Having Mia has definitely enabled me to relax more.
“There's definitely more highs being a mother than being in sport. One thing I do know, I make better decisions now,” she added.
Mike and Mia support Zara at a competition earlier this year.
“Before I'd have got on any old horse. Now I'm more selective. And when I see a steep slope, I go round it. Mind, I don't know if that's a product of motherhood or just being older.”
But there was never a single moment that Zara even entertained the idea of giving up riding after Mia was born – after all, she comes from a long royal line of equestrians.
Her grandmother, The Queen, learned to ride when she was just three and both the blonde beauty’s parents, Princess Anne and Mark Phillips were avid riders.
She spoke about her daughter Mia to the paper too, telling them that despite her sporting roots, the doting parents will nurture her in whatever field she chooses for herself.
“Whatever she wants to do in life we'll encourage her. If that's riding, amazing. Saying that makes me wonder what she's up to right now. Only been gone a day, and I kind of miss having her around.”

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