Athletics golden girl Sally Pearson has opened up on life away from the running track and how becoming a mum has been one of her proudest achievements.
The 33-year-old Olympic champion who lives in the Gold Coast gave birth to daughter Ruby Elizabeth in July which she says was a challenge in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pearson, who spent 16 years on the Australian athletics team, most memorably winning gold in the 100m hurdles at the London 2012 Olympic Games, announced her shock retirement from the sport in August last year after suffering six injuries in just six months.
Since trading hurdles for nappies to raise her daughter with husband Kieran, Pearson now spends her time coaching up and coming Olympic hopefuls.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia Pearson said she would always cherish the adrenaline rush competing gave her along with the highly-anticipated Olympic Games celebrations.
Olympic champion Sally Pearson (pictured with two-month-old daughter Ruby) has opened up about her life away from the track
Pearson is seen celebrating after winning Gold in the 100m Hurdles at the London 2012 Olympic Games
'The Olympics are absolutely fantastic. It's so inspiring when you're in the Olympic village,' she said.
'It's just got a buzz about it and everyone walks around like little peacocks their feathers come out and they stand tall.'
Often the highlight of the Olympic Games was after the competition finished, where athletes, who Pearson joked were usually 'cheap drunks' were treated to dozens of parties.
'It's kind of bizarre because a lot of athletes have already left. But so many of the sponsors of the Olympics put parties on all over the city,' she said.
'It's a lot of fun. Everyone's usually quite responsible but we do enjoy ourselves.
'It's such a big build up to the Olympic Games so you need time to have a bit of fun and have a dance.'
Leaving her glory days behind, the now mother to a two-month-old said becoming a parent had transformed her life.
'It's really special. I never imagined what it would be like to be a parent because it wasn't really on my radar as I dedicated my life to athletics,' Pearson said.
Pearson (pictured with husband Kieran) announced her shock retirement last August after spending 16 years on the Australian athletics team
Pearson (pictured at the London Olympic Games) has since taken up coaching, with a few Olympic hopefuls running on her team
'Since being a mum it changes your whole perspective on life and it's a very selfish thing to do to raise a human to be the best person they can be so it's very fulfilling.'
Ruby's birth however was another hurdle to jump and she was born in the midst of COVID-19 - meaning only one family member could visit her each day.
'Ruby is the first grandchild on both sides of our family so not being able to have your family there straight after giving birth was a little bit sad for them and for us as well to be able to share in the joy of her arrival,' Pearson said.
'Family members had to take it in turns so it was a bit tough for them but we got through it.'
After having a child of her own, Pearson revealed she has taken up another role as an ambassador for DrinkWise which aims to raise awareness of the risks associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
Babies can develop the condition Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) if their mothers had consumed even small amounts of alcohol while pregnant.
Pearson with her daughter Ruby. The athlete said becoming a parent had changed her perspective on