ABOUT

I was born in Elgin, Scotland to my parents Ed and Jo Tucker. My Dad was in the Royal Air force and was based in RAF Lossiemouth. We spent the first few years of my life moving around and my sister Harriet was born in Germany. We settled in South Wales just as I was about to start school. My parents loved Wales and the local area. I have considered myself Welsh from a young age. As I was growing up I competed in swimming and running, representing Wales for Cross country.

When I was 15 I was offered the opportunity to do a triathlon. The Welsh Triathlon coach was Chris Goulden. Chris did a pretty basic talent ID.  He took a bunch of us from my swimming club to the local industrial estate; we cycled round twice and then did a run off. The fastest few got chosen to go and compete in a Celtic cup in Ireland. Luckily I was one of the fastest. I completed our 'trial' on a borrowed bike and my legs felt like jelly when I was running, but I loved it!

I won my first triathlon in Ireland; there were only about 6 people in it! I had a steady progression over the next few years taking part in Junior World champs in 2002 and 2003 finishing 9th and 5th. My first major year as a senior was 2005, I got two bronze medals in my first ever World cup events. It was a shock to me to do so well in International competitions. I competed at the Commonwealth games in 2006

I had some injury troubles in 2006/2007 which made it hard to qualify for the Beijing 2008 Olympics but I managed to do it and became World Champion in 2008 in Vancouver. One of the turning points to get me out of my injuries was my husband Marc starting to coach me. It led to very successful years from 2008 to 2011 when I became World Champion again in 2011.

I qualified for the London Olympic in 2011. The start of 2012 was fantastic my best ever results but unfortunately  I had a big injury leading into the London Olympics and this resulted in me being unable to compete the best of my ability. I came 5th in London. Although massively disappointing i was very proud of my performance under tough circumstances and representing my country at a home Olympics was a privilege.

from 2012 to 2015 i was hampered with a lot of injury problems due to my back, I had a slippage of the vertebra in the spine which would have been there from a  young age but the volume of training to be an elite triathlete was taking its toll on my back. I still managed some podiums in World Series but I wasn't able to train at full capacity. 

I qualified for Rio Olympics at the start of 2016 after managing my best block of training in years. I went to Rio in great shape but got sick before the race. I was again so proud to be there and part of TeamGB.

2017 was perhaps the best year as I gave birth to our daughter Mali on 12th August. It was amazing to become a mum but the desire to compete in triathlon is still there. I started on the come back trail but again was hit with injury issues stemming from my back condition. After a lot of consideration I decided to have surgery to fix my back. It wasn't just about sport but about a healthy life in the future. I am now attempting to return to the highest level of triathlon again. It will be tough after the surgery but I am determined to give it my best effort.

RESULTS

My Major results are 

World Champion 2008 and 2011

London Olympics 5th

16 World Triathlon Series podiums

Link to all ITU results 

https://www.triathlon.org/athletes/results/5573/helen_jenkins

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