Natasha Hansen is on top of the world at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The Kiwi cyclist has won three Commonwealth Games medals during the past few days on the Gold Coast.
The 28-year-old collected silver medals in both the team sprint and the individual sprint before claiming a bronze medal in the women's Keirin. On top of that Hansen finished fourth in the 500m time trial.
With her medals draped around her neck, Hansen sat down with The Herald to discuss her journey to the Gold Coast and the motivation that drove her to succeed while also dealing with a number of mental demons that could have derailed her dreams.
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Hansen lost a close friend before the London Olympics in 2012 and she began to question whether she wanted to continue to strive to be at her best. But with the memory of her late friend pushing her on, she continued to remain motivated and threw everything at these Games.
There were times where Hansen seriously considered giving the sport away but a strong support network and the pressure to repay those that have helped her over the years spurred her on.
The yield of three separate medals is just reward for an athlete who has been through as much as Hansen has and it goes a long way to paying back those that stood by her over the years.