Happy lockdown! Team GB Paralympians Jude Hamer and Lauren Rowles reveal how they became a couple after Tokyo Olympics postponed
Team GB Paralympians Lauren Rowles and Jude Hamer thought the highlight of their 2020 would be the Tokyo Games, but instead they found each other.
After the Games were postponed in March the pair began chatting on social media and now TA mixed sculls gold medallist Rowles and wheelchair basketball star Hamer have been together six months.
Hamer told Sky Sports: "We clicked really well. We've been inseparable really since the first day we met."
And Rowles added: "People were grasping onto the fact that we were spending more time together. They've all been really supportive. I've only recently come out as being gay and that's been really well received by my team-mates."
The couple have spoken about their relationship on Rainbow Laces day which is a campaign by the charity Stonewall which seeks to have LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport.
Rowles, who developed transverse myelitis at 13 which caused her to lose feeling below the chest, says it is an important campaign as children growing up will be able to see LGBTQ+ people in sport and if you can’t see it, you can’t be it.
She said: "It's really important whether you have a disability or you're gay or whatever it may be, for you to see that. It could be people in the media, in your local street, or in the shops you go to. When I grew up, I didn't know anyone with a disability."
And Hamer, who had her leg amputated as a teenager, added she finds it difficult when people stare at her and Rowles.
"I get more upset when it's adults staring. I've had that a lot where someone's walking past us and staring the whole time. But now, I don't care. You can stare - I'm just out here and living my life."