Saturday, July 13, 2024

Paris Olympics: Laura Roper reveals ‘traumatic’ miscarriage in bid to help others

Laura Roper has revealed that she fell pregnant before January’s FIH Olympic hockey qualifiers and subsequently miscarried when she took a break from the sport earlier this year.

In Paris, Roper will join Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh and Jane Sixsmith in a legendary quartet to have represented Great Britain in women’s hockey at four Olympics.

But in an emotional interview, Roper said that she discovered she was pregnant on the day the GB women’s team were set to travel out to Valencia for the qualifiers, which would rubber stamp their ticket to Paris, and believed she was playing her last tournament.

“It was a bit of a shock to say the least,” she told the BBC. “I hadn’t even seen my husband because he’d already gone to work. My head was all over the place.”

Roper was given the all clear to play the tournament but decided not to reveal the news to her team-mates. She admitted to being in “floods of tears” after beating Ireland in their final match.

Sadly, Roper miscarried nine weeks into her pregnancy. 

“It’s been the hardest part of my 16-year career. Until you’ve been through it, you don’t realise actually how traumatic it is.

“That morning, everything was fine, there was a heartbeat and then in just the click of your fingers, we no longer had a baby growing. I found that hard to process.”

GB qualified for Paris in January PIC: WORLDSPORTPICS FRANK UIJLENBROEK

Roper returned to hockey and played her final club game for East Grinstead at League Finals Weekend before also returning to the GB set up for the Pro League games.

She spoke to the BBC in a bid to help other athletes.

She added: “You feel quite alone because no-one talks about the experience and actually what it entails. Elite athletes are used to being in control of every aspect of their body but all of a sudden your body and hormones are all over the place. It was very raw.

“Heaven forbid it happens to anybody else but it if ever does, I want them to be able to come to me to speak about it. That’s why I feel comfortable talking about it now.”

Total Hockey

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