January 15,
An image of Tessa

Tessa Sanderson CBE knows a thing or two about defying expectations: she won gold for her javelin throw in 1984, becoming the first-ever British woman to win an Olympic throwing gold medal.

Then, at the age of 54, she adopted twins. From chasing her dreams on the field to becoming a parent for the first time, Tessa feels more empowered than ever. Here, she shares her tips on why your age should never stop you from pursuing what you love.

Take care of your body and mind

“I feel so much better now taking care of my body than when I was competing. Moisturise, when I was competing? I didn't really think about things like that. But now, I'm calm, thinking about me and making myself feel beautiful.

Over the past 10 years, my skin has changed a lot. It’s mainly because I’ve looked after it. My skin feels smoother and softer. It feels better now than it did when I was 30!”

If you want something, go for it

“I adopted twins at the age of 54. I call them my two blossoms. People thought, “Are you crazy? You’re not going to adopt at that age, it’s far too old.”
But it's not about my age. It's about how I felt and what I wanted to do. My twins keep me motivated, fit and healthy. It's a wonderful feeling.”

Never doubt yourself

“I won an Olympic gold medal in 1984. It took me 12 years, and it was a learning curve along the way, but I'm glad I went for it.
I received my CBE in 2004 – thank you, Ma’am. That was for the charity work that I've done over the years.
The lesson I would give to my younger self is to never doubt yourself. Just have a go because you never know what can happen.”

Own your achievements

Now that I've achieved quite a lot of things, it's a massive confidence boost. My age is 66. “So what,” I think. I feel really good – really good.

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