Davina McCall Opens up on her Sports Relief Challenge: "I Kept Crying Every Day"

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Davina Mccall’s Sports Relief challenge was well documented. The 500-mile run, cycle and swim from Edinburgh to London left the TV presenter forlorn, but she was determined to push through, and ended up raising £750,000 for charity.

Davina McCallDavina McCall gave her all for Sports Relief

"It was like somebody had opened the floodgates, and I let out every single bit of grief that I had. I was sobbing my guts out. I kept crying every day. I cried with fear. I cried with joy. I couldn't stop," she told The Guardian’s Weekend Magazine. "I kept crying every day... I think I was just so tired that I had no defences, and I was just sobbing at everything." 

She added: "I'm normally a chipper person. If you're in a positive state of mind you can cope with pain and jolly yourself along, but I had moments when I went into a very dark mental place." Davina also opened up on Caroline, her half sister, who died in 2012 after being diagnosed with cancer. She said the memory of her kept her going when she was at her lowest ebb. "She (Caroline) was our other half, she was my husband's sister, and it was the hugest loss of my life. I felt like she was with me (on the challenge) a lot."

Sports Relief is The BBC’s annual sporting charity drive, which involved enlisting celebrities and sports personalities to partake in challenges. Usually, these are jovial affairs, like Bradley Wiggins’ appearance on Radio 4’s The Archers, but in McCall’s case, the challenge was that of a lifetime.

The 130-mile bike ride to the Lake District "looked like a breeze, and I thought I might even enjoy it. And that's why the first day was so frightening. Four hours in and I got the first signs of hypothermia, and I was just sobbing and saying, 'I can't do this.' I was half hoping that someone would say, 'It's OK, don't worry – we've got someone else to come and do it,’” she added.


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