Three-time Irish Olympian Natalya Coyle has been busy since Tokyo.
She recently tied the knot with fellow Irish Olympian and modern pentathlete Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe and has just moved to London, where she is embarking on a master’s degree in sustainable resources at University College London.
“One of the reasons I was really interested in [the degree] was because, travelling with sport, I see the damage climate change is doing all around the world,” she says.
The 30-year-old, who was born and raised in Meath, says she believes younger generations are a lot more clued into climate change because it’s “their future”.
“I think everyone needs to do their part, but you can’t berate people… it’s a very individual journey.
“The biggest change I am trying to make in my personal life is just becoming much more educated on it.”
Natalya, a modern pentathlon Olympian, is the new brand ambassador for O’Brien’s Sandwich Cafés.
I think I’m in pretty good shape, but definitely not as much as I was for the Olympics. I’m just getting back into fencing and running. I’m just enjoying it for what it is with no pressure.
I love vegetables and salad. I think keeping a variety of food in your diet is important and luckily I like lots of different food.
I’ve learned a lot from my nutritionist Sharon Madigan who says that there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure. If you define a food as guilty, it’s seen as bad. We try to get away from that. Everything is really good in moderation.
At the moment, it is probably my college course and trying to get my head around economics. A few months ago, it would have been thinking about the Olympics. I sleep pretty well, though.
Having a coffee, walking my dog, chatting to Arthur. Because I am not looking towards an Olympics right now, I really enjoy getting out to exercise. There’s nothing better for me than going for a jog in the evening. It just clears my head and my mind.
There have been so many athletes that I love to watch, people like Annalise Murphy, Ellen Keane and Fionnuala Britton.
When someone is cooking garlic and onions at the start of a dish, and you can smell it wafting through the house, you know there’s a nice meal ahead of you. It reminds me of home.
Probably at the Olympics and in the weeks afterwards. I was upset at how it went [missing out on a medal] and I was unsure of the course I was going to take.
I don’t like rudeness. I don’t like the way some people treat other people as inferior. Apart from that, I am willing to live with many things – you don’t have to get on with everyone in the world.
I can be quite impatient sometimes, especially when people are explaining things to me. If I can’t understand it, I get a bit impatient.
I used to when I was younger. It’s something that I fell out of, but I might fall back into it. Who knows.
At the start of my career, someone said to me, ‘there’s no point doing the sport if you have no one to bring home the medals to’. I interpreted that as friends and family are very important and you need someone there to support you through the bad [times] and celebrate the good.
Home, around the table, just about to have dinner with family and friends. Covid-19 and the lockdowns have really made me appreciate that.