BBC Strictly star reveals near career-ending injury falling down stairs

Nicola Adams and Katya Jones on Strictly
-Credit: (Image: No credit)

Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Nicola Adams has shared the harrowing tale of an injury that almost ended her boxing career prematurely. Nicola, 41, has been a trailblazer in women's boxing and later dazzled audiences on the BBC dance show. Despite her impressive record, she faced significant setbacks, including a severe injury that threatened to derail her ambitions.

Having started boxing at just 12 years old, Nicola fought her way through a male-dominated sport to make history twice as an Olympic champion. She clinched gold at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics, becoming the first woman ever to win an Olympic boxing title and the world's first female boxer to secure two Olympic gold medals.

However, her journey nearly came to an abrupt end in 2008 when she suffered a spine fracture at a time when women's boxing was finally being recognized as an Olympic sport, reports the Mirror.

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Nicola detailed the incident in an interview with OK! Magazine: "I was getting ready for a competition and rushing around, I came running down the stairs and had left my bandages hanging out of my bag. I tripped over them and went tumbling down the stairs. I actually fractured one of the vertebras in my spine."

She continued, revealing the extent of her ordeal: "The announcement came on TV that women's boxing was going to be an Olympic sport and I couldn't even move. I was bed-bound for three months and had gone from being able to do 500 sit-ups a day to not even being able to lift my shoulders off of the floor."

Nicola confessed that during her recovery, she doubted if she could ever box again, saying, "It was a really, really difficult time mentally and physically. There were a few times when I'd be sat on the sidelines receiving physio and I'd see all my teammates training and I'd be thinking, 'Am I even going to be able to get back to the boxer that I was?' I started setting goals and my first goal was being able to walk 50 metres without being in pain."

From the gruelling challenge of walking just 50 metres to triumphantly securing the historic first Olympic gold medal in women's boxing, Nicola has charted an incredible return to form. Her journey from sharing kits to becoming a role model for aspiring athletes is nothing short of remarkable.

Nicola and Ella
Nicola Adams and Ella Baig -Credit:nicolaadams/instagram

Off the canvas and into family life, Nicola, known for her tenacity in the ring, has found joy in parenthood with her partner, model Ella Baig. Together for six years, they celebrated the birth of their son Taylor in July 2022, who will soon celebrate his second birthday.

Reflecting on parenthood, Nicola said: "It's really good. I didn't realise how much a child changes when from when they're a newborn. And then all of a sudden they start smiling and then they laugh. And then they say the first word and you're like, 'Oh, my God.' Every day is a new adventure and they learn to do something new. It's just exciting being on that journey, you know?" Their happiness was amplified following the success of their fourth attempt at IVF. For the latest TV & Showbiz news, sign up to our newsletter.