Three-time Olympian and sprint star Melinda Gainsford-Taylor, 44, has swapped the fast lane for the good life on Sydney’s northern beaches. She lives with her husband of 25 years, Mark Taylor (not the cricketer!) and children Nicholas, 13 and Gabriella, 11. The world champion sprinter is a sprint coach, mentor to young athletes, public speaker and athletics commentator. After losing her mother, Jill, to non-Hodgkin lymphoma last year, Gainsford-Taylor is also an ambassador for cancer charity Can Too. The charity provides beginners and experienced athletes professional coaching as part of a team to run or swim and bike in events and in return, they raise funds for cancer research.
Sport, sport and more sport. In the winter, its netball for Gabriella at 8.30am and then Nicholas plays soccer any time from 8.30am to 11.30am, so it’s go-go-go. Mark plays golf and I am usually coaching all Saturday afternoon. I try to get a run in earlier in the day if I can. Sport dominates, that’s for sure.
I’m a pretty tidy person, so my bedside is simple. I usually have water, night cream — for when I’m feeling diligent — and a lamp.
I really enjoy doing a roast lamb dinner. Most people think it’s a big effort, but it’s so not. I chuck the meat and potatoes in before I go to coaching, do carrots, beans, corn and other veggies when I get back, and it’s done. And everyone loves it.
I am busy coaching most nights of the week, so I try to have a night in with the family at least once a week. My ideal night in would be an easy dinner, sitting down with the kids to watch a movie together, in comfy clothes, snuggled under a rug. Add a glass of Marlborough sauvignon blanc and I am the happiest woman in the world!
They’re not a possession, but I have to say my kids. I just adore them. They’re growing up so quickly, so I am treasuring time at home with them; just simple things like a night in on the couch together are lovely.
PHOTOS: ADAM WARD