Rebecca Adlington suffers panic attacks triggered by death of grandfather

Rebecca Adlington has started therapy to help cope with panic attacks brought on by the death of her beloved grandad.

The Olympian began sessions in January after suffering “bad anxiety” which she says was triggered by losing her grandad Gordon, 90, last July.

The swimmer, who turned 30 last month, described him as “the kindest man with the biggest heart”.

She said: “It’s going to be a tough journey. The panic attacks have always been there. But I have had them more recently.

“It normally takes some sort of event that sets something off.”


She was particularly close to Gordon who took her training every week.

In 2002 he drove her to Manchester for the Commonwealth Games so she could see her hero Ian Thorpe. She won her first Olympic gold six years later.

Rebecca, who is mum to Summer, three, has weekly sessions that include mindfulness and guided imagery.

Speaking ahead of the Cricket World Cup, she said: “My family are brilliant, but it’s good to talk to somebody neutral. We all need to admit sometimes we need help.”

  • Rebecca was speaking yesterday in London for the ICC’s 100-day ­countdown to the Cricket World Cup.

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