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Former world swimming champion Karen Pickering gives birth to twin girls

PUBLISHED: 09:45 04 December 2014

Karen Pickering

Karen Pickering

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Former Olympic swimmer Karen Pickering has given birth to twin girls. The 42-year-old from Ipswich wrote on Twitter: "Our 2 little girls have arrived safe & sound this morning weighing 4lb9 & 5lb4. Can't begin to describe how I feel, my life's changed forever."

The four-times world champion had previously announced she had booked a hospital appointment to give birth.

Friends and colleagues congratulated Pickering tonight. London 2012 silver medallist Charlotte Henshaw wrote: “Huge congrats, Karen. What a wonderful early Christmas present. Hope all of you are well x”

Olympic champion Sally Gunnell added: “Wonderful news, you clever girls. Enjoy every moment. X”

During her 20-year international career, Pickering won 35 major championship medals and 38 national titles despite breaking her back in a car accident in 1996.

She broke two world records and competed at four consecutive Olympic Games.

Since her retirement from competitive swimming in 2005, Pickering has become a motivational and after-dinner speaker. She commentates for BBC 5 Live and Channel 4 on swimming, diving and open water swimming.

In 2013 she founded the charity The Karen Pickering SWIM Foundation.

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