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Adam Peaty opens up on ‘three years of hell’: Being ‘broken’ by swimming, alcoholism, depression and split from the mother of his son – after qualifying for the Olympics with his quickest time since 2021

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Adam Peaty has revealed that he endured ‘three years of hell’ after suffering from depression and alcoholism and splitting from his girlfriend – but has now rediscovered his passion for swimming. 

He admitted that he ‘didn’t want to see a pool again’ after being ‘broken’ by the sport, turning to drinking and partying as an escape. 

In 2022 his three-year relationship with Eirianedd Munro ended after he appeared as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing –  as did his eight-year unbeaten streak in the pool, and he took a mental health break after the Commonwealth Games. 

Add a broken foot and a facial gash after a bust-up with a team-mate and the last few years don’t make the most optimistic reading for a three-time Olympic champion, who is now dating Holly Ramsay, daughter of potty-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay.  

But now Peaty has qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics after winning the British 100m men’s breaststroke title with his quickest time since 2021. 

Adam Peaty endured 'three years of hell' after suffering from depression and alcoholism following the difficult split from his long-term girlfriend

Adam Peaty endured ‘three years of hell’ after suffering from depression and alcoholism following the difficult split from his long-term girlfriend

In 2022, Peaty separated from his girlfriend Eirianedd Munro after three years together

The three-time Olympic champion is now dating Holly Ramsay - daughter of TV chef Gordon Ramsay

In 2022, Peaty separated from his girlfriend Eirianedd Munro (L) after three years together and has been dating Holly Ramsay (R) – daughter of TV chef Gordon – since mid-2023

However, Peaty has since rediscovered his passion for swimming and is now focused on being 'a better person' as well as 'being a better dad for George'

However, Peaty has since rediscovered his passion for swimming and is now focused on being ‘a better person’ as well as ‘being a better dad for George’

As well as his success in the pool, Adam also showed off his skills on the dance floor when he competed in Strictly Come Dancing. He is pictured with his partner on the show, Katya Jones

As well as his success in the pool, Adam also showed off his skills on the dance floor when he competed in Strictly Come Dancing. He is pictured with his partner on the show, Katya Jones

Peaty is now dating Holly Ramsay, daughter of potty-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay

Peaty is now dating Holly Ramsay, daughter of potty-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay

Asked if he was back to his best, he said: ‘I think so. A 57.9 is very good, still not where I want to be, but the first solid result where I am like, “Oh, not many people can do this.”

‘I felt so light in the water.

‘This is a real win for my team, my family and myself. We have come through the past three years of hell. I didn’t want to see a pool again. The sport had broken me.

‘I didn’t know what route to go down and so many things got in my way, but now I am waking up each day and enjoying my job.

‘Who knows what the ending is going to be but I am having fun along the way. It may not end up as a fairytale, but it might.’

His time of 57.94 seconds was his quickest since he retained his Olympic title in 2021.

The 29-year-old has won three Olympic gold medals and two silvers and was unbeaten for eight years from 2014 to 2022.

However, he broke his foot in May 2022 and rushed back for the Commonwealth Games, where he could only finish fourth. He later stepped away from swimming to focus on his mental health. 

In August 2022, he struggled with the breakdown of his relationship with Eirianedd Munro, the mother of his then-two-year-old son George.

Announcing the news via social media, Adam wrote: ‘Eiri and George, I’m sorry for letting you down. My only interest is for the well-being of our family at this difficult time.’

The Olympic swimmer and former Strictly contestant took to Instagram to share the sad news with his followers, back in August 2022

The Olympic swimmer and former Strictly contestant took to Instagram to share the sad news with his followers, back in August 2022

Adam Peaty and Eirianedd Munro with baby George before he split up with his former partner

Adam Peaty and Eirianedd Munro with baby George before he split up with his former partner 

Peaty, 29, has won three Olympic gold medals and two silvers and was unbeaten for eight years from 2014 to 2022. He is pictured training at his home during lockdown

Peaty, 29, has won three Olympic gold medals and two silvers and was unbeaten for eight years from 2014 to 2022. He is pictured training at his home during lockdown 

Eirianedd took to her own social media to announce the split, predicting she would face an ‘incredibly difficult’ future.

The split marked another instance of the doomed ‘Strictly curse’ striking once again, after Adam raised eyebrows with his chemistry with pro partner Katya Jones on the dance floor in 2021.

Adam is the latest in a long line of celebrities whose relationships ended during or after the dance show, where stars spend hours training with their professional partners before taking to the stage for steamy and intimate performances. 

The Olympic swimmer’s brother James Peaty insisted the split was not due to his sibling’s appearance on the hit BBC dance show, insisting: ‘He was in it over a year ago. It has nothing to do with Strictly.’

But in the wake of the news breaking, Eirianedd shared a statement to her Instagram Story, which read: ‘The last three years have been so, so amazing. 

‘Our little family has experienced so much laughter and love and joy. You guys have been such a significant part of that!

‘This next chapter of my life is surely going to be an incredibly difficult one. I would appreciate that people would refrain from commenting, speculating or messaging. 

Having her say: She also shared a statement to her Instagram Story which read: 'The last three years have been so, so amazing'

Eirianedd also shared a statement to Instagram and described the last three years as ‘amazing’

Nope! When Adam Peaty reached out to take George from his partner over the ledge, she could be seen shaking her head, and eventually she made her way back into the crowd

Nope! When Adam Peaty reached out to take George from his partner over the ledge, she could be seen shaking her head, and eventually she made her way back into the crowd

‘I have shared so much of my life, but for now I’m choosing privacy and I hope that you will all respect that.

‘I love and appreciate you all so much and I’m so thankful for all the fun and opportunities you’ve given me. 

‘I am going to be taking a break from social media, so goodbye for now. Thank you so much for everything.’

The split comes just weeks after Eirianedd awkwardly refused to pass him their son while congratulating him at the Commonwealth Games, after he won gold in the 50m breaststroke.

After the swimmer was awarded his medal, cameras saw him heading to the stands where his then-girlfriend was tearfully watching with their son.

When he reached out to take George from her over the ledge, she could be seen shaking her head, and eventually she made her way back into the crowd. 

However, Peaty is now is now dating Holly Ramsay, 24, daughter of the potty-mouthed TV chef Gordon Ramsay – having met during his time on the show.

They announced their love affair to the world in June and unveiled matching tattoo tributes to one another in December. 

The Olympic champion took to Instagram on his birthday late last year to share snaps of himself posing in the infinity pool, below, at the Ramsays’ Cornish bolthole, where he has spent most of the festive season. 

The tattoo lover also showed off his new ‘H’ inking on his chest – shortly before Holly unveiled her A inking behind her heavily pierced ear.

It seems things are going swimmingly for Holly Ramsay, 24, and Adam Peaty, 29, as they unveiled matching tattoo tributes

It seems things are going swimmingly for Holly Ramsay, 24, and Adam Peaty, 29, as they unveiled matching tattoo tributes 

The couple have been flaunting their romance for all to see, with Adam recently professing: 'I love you so much' on social media

The couple have been flaunting their romance for all to see, with Adam recently professing: ‘I love you so much’ on social media

As well as the tattoo snap, Holly gushed over Adam as she shared a sweet post to celebrate. In one picture, Holly looked glamorous in a sequin dress as she gazed lovingly at her boyfriend during a lavish evening out.

She also shared a snap of them playfully posing for a mirror selfie dressed in matching beige dressing gowns.

In 2020, Peaty told Mail Sport that he had found himself turning to alcohol after triumphing at the Commonwealth Games two years earlier.

‘After the Commonwealths, towards the end of the year, I didn’t have any races. And when you involve off-season and you involve partying and drinking, that’s a depressant in itself, so I was doing that a lot.

‘I kind of, not went off the rails, but I didn’t really have that overwhelming motivation to perform at something. And I am a performer, so if I don’t have something to perform at, I completely lose my track.

‘Add that in with all that partying and stuff, it wasn’t that great to have that all at once.

‘Then you are on this low where you can’t really enjoy anything, you don’t really see the point of buying nice things or doing nice things, because you don’t get a high out of it any more.

In a Valetine's Day post on social media in February, Peaty labelled Ramsay as his 'best friend'

In a Valetine’s Day post on social media in February, Peaty labelled Ramsay as his ‘best friend’ 

In 2020, he told Mail Sport that he turned to alcohol and partying and 'went off the rails'

In 2020, he told Mail Sport that he turned to alcohol and partying and ‘went off the rails’ 

He appeared at an event with a nasty gash above his eye after allegedly getting in a fight with a Team GB team-mate

He appeared at an event with a nasty gash above his eye after allegedly getting in a fight with a Team GB team-mate 

‘It took a long while to recognise what was important to me and what wasn’t. I have found that thankfully now. I know exactly how to treat my body, how to treat my mind, and it’s not by forcing alcohol as much as you can.’

He told The Times: ‘It’s been an incredibly lonely journey. The devil on my shoulder [says], “You’re missing out on life. You’re not good enough. You need a drink. You can’t have what you want. You can’t be happy.”‘ 

‘I’ve been on a self-destructive spiral, which I don’t mind saying because I’m human. By saying it, I can start to find the answers.’

Last year, he appeared with a nasty gash above his eye after allegedly getting involved in a bust-up with Team GB team-mate Luke Greenbank, after apparently slapping him on the bottom and making a ‘cocky quip’ about his girlfriend, Anna Hopkin.

Since summer last year, Peaty has been dating Holly Ramsay, 24, daughter of infamous TV chef Gordon Ramsay.

The pair met on Strictly Come Dancing and in 2023 unveiled matching tattoos in a tribute to each other. 

They went public with their relationship in June, after which they sparked engagement speculation four months later when she was seen wearing a ring. On social media, he professed: ‘I love you so much.’ 

However, the three-time Olympic champion says his Christian faith has helped him on the road to recovery has opened up on his newfound faith and how it helped him overcome alcoholism

However, the three-time Olympic champion says his Christian faith has helped him on the road to recovery has opened up on his newfound faith and how it helped him overcome alcoholism

In 2023, he told Mail Sport that his Christian faith had improved his mental health. 

He said: ‘I go to church every Sunday. It’s been the last few months and it’s definitely helped.

‘It’s about being a better person. Not only being a better athlete and fulfilling my gift, but also being a better dad for George. There are so many other reasons. It gets quite deep. But it’s great to be a part of.’

WHO IS ADAM PEATY?

Adam Peaty has been one of Team GB‘s biggest names ever since he burst onto the scene at the 2016 Rio Olympics by winning his first gold medal.

Since then he has gone onto become a household name with appearances on shows including Strictly Come Dancing, and even has a YouTube channel documenting his exploits.

Now, as Adam announces that he is single after splitting from his girlfriend of three years Eirianedd Munroi, MailOnline takes a look at his decorated past.

Who is Adam Peaty? The swimmer star has become one of Team GB's biggest names ever since he burst onto the scene at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Who is Adam Peaty? The swimmer star has become one of Team GB’s biggest names ever since he burst onto the scene at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Adam was born in 1994 in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire to parents to Mark and Caroline Peaty, and despite his sensational swimming skills, at a young age he had a fear of water.

His grandmother Mavis Williams said in 2016: ‘He used to scream every time he got in the bath. And when his mum used to take him to the pool he used to scream there.

‘Then one day Caroline’s friend took him and it paid off. And he’s been swimming ever since.’

Over: The sportsman announced his split from his girlfriend Eirianedd Munroi on Tuesday after three years together

Over: The sportsman announced his split from his girlfriend Eirianedd Munroi on Tuesday after three years together

Adam joined Dove Valley Swimming Club at the age of nine, and quickly began to win races and set club records, and at the age of 12 he joined City of Derby Swimming Club after impressing coach Melanie Marshall with his breaststroke.

The sportsman openly admitted that he didn’t start to take his swimming seriously until he was 17, when he saw Craig Benson reach the semi-final of the 100m breastroke at the London 2012 Olympics.

He told CNN in 2016: ‘It was then I realized I wasn’t taking it seriously enough.’ 

And Adam’s hard work paid off, as just two years later he won gold in the 100m breaststroke at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, before earning another in the 4x100m relay, and silver in the 50m breaststroke.

Rising star: After vowing to commit to his swimming training, Adam won his first gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games

Rising star: After vowing to commit to his swimming training, Adam won his first gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games

In 2016, Adam became a nationwide star when he swam to victory in the 100m breaststroke at the Rio Olympics, along with a silver medal in the 4×100m medley.

The following year, at the World Championships in Budpest, Adam beat his own 100m breaststroke Championship Record, and the following year he won another gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Previously, Adam had been in a relationship with Anna Zair, and she proudly watched on when he won his Rio Olympics gold, and he began dating his now ex-partner Eiri in 2020 after they met on Tinder.

Competitive: Adam joined Dove Valley Swimming Club at the age of nine, and quickly began to win races and set club records, and at the age of 12 he joined City of Derby Swimming Club

Competitive: Adam joined Dove Valley Swimming Club at the age of nine, and quickly began to win races and set club records, and at the age of 12 he joined City of Derby Swimming Club 

Just two months after they started dating, Adam and Eiri revealed they were expecting their first child, and their son George was born that September.

Adam’s sporting success continued in 2021 when he competed at the Tokyo Olympics, and won Team GB their first gold medal of the competition in the 100m breaststroke.

Along with sparking elation from fans and loved ones watching the race unfold back in the UK, Adam also went viral with his expletive-laden post-race interview.

He famously declared: ‘It’s about who f****** wants it more… I’m just so f****** relieved! Sorry about the swearing, I’m very emotional.’

Storming to success: Just two years later, he became a nationwide star when he swam to victory in the 100m breaststroke at the Rio Olympics

Storming to success: Just two years later, he became a nationwide star when he swam to victory in the 100m breaststroke at the Rio Olympics

Adam was awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List, before being upgraded to an OBE in 2022 for services to swimming.

In 2021 Adam was also nominated for Sports Personality Of The Year, finishing in third place. 

It’s also no surprise that he endures a gruelling exercise regime to keep himself in top shape for competition, including six days of training per week, and consuming up to 8000 calories a day.

Following last year’s Olympics, Adam revealed he was taking a year-long break from competition, and just days later he joined the lineup of Strictly Come Dancing.

Sensational: Adam's sporting success continued in 2021 when he competed at the Tokyo Olympics, and won Team GB their first gold medal of the competition in the 100m breaststroke

Sensational: Adam’s sporting success continued in 2021 when he competed at the Tokyo Olympics, and won Team GB their first gold medal of the competition in the 100m breaststroke

Determined: It's also no surprise that he endures a gruelling regime to keep himself in top shape, including six days of training per week, and consuming up to 8000 calories a day

Determined: It’s also no surprise that he endures a gruelling regime to keep himself in top shape, including six days of training per week, and consuming up to 8000 calories a day

He was paired up with professional dancer Katya Jones, and the pair set tongues wagging when they nearly-kissed during one of their steamy performances.

Adam was said to be ‘beside himself’ as trolls attacked girlfriend Eirianedd over his near-kiss with his dancing partner, with the insider adding that his girlfriend was ‘incredibly supportive’ of his time on the show.

Despite originally impressing with his flexible hips and dance moves, Adam only made it to week seven before being eliminated.

In May Adam announced that he would be pulling out of the 2022 World Championships after fracturing a bone in his foot, but surprised sports fans when he returned to competition at the Commonwealth Games earlier this month.

Together: In 2020 Adam began dating his now ex-girlfriend Eiri after they met on Tinder

Together: In 2020 Adam began dating his now ex-girlfriend Eiri after they met on Tinder

Surprise! Just two months into their romance, Eiri fell pregnant, and their son George was born in September 2020

Surprise! Just two months into their romance, Eiri fell pregnant, and their son George was born in September 2020 

Taking to the floor! Following last year's Olympics, Adam revealed he was taking a year-long break from competition, and just days later he joined the lineup of Strictly Come Dancing

Taking to the floor! Following last year’s Olympics, Adam revealed he was taking a year-long break from competition, and just days later he joined the lineup of Strictly Come Dancing

Despite a shaky start, Adam landed the only gold he was yet to win in The Games, the 50m breaststroke.

And just weeks after his partner Eiri was seen proudly cheering him on, Adam announced on Tuesday that he had split from his partner after three years together.

Announcing the news via social media, Adam wrote: ‘Eiri and George, I’m sorry for letting you down. My only interest is for the well-being of our family at this difficult time.’

Eirianedd took to her own social media to announce the split, predicting she will face an ‘incredibly difficult’ future. 

The split marked another instance of the doomed ‘Strictly curse’ striking once again, after Adam raised eyebrows with his chemistry with pro partner Katya Jones on the dance floor last year. 

Wow! He was paired up with professional dancer Katya Jones, and the pair set tongues wagging when they nearly-kissed during one of their steamy performances

Wow! He was paired up with professional dancer Katya Jones, and the pair set tongues wagging when they nearly-kissed during one of their steamy performances

Riding high! Earlier this summer Adam overcame a shake start, and defeat in the 100m, to win gold in the 50m breaststroke in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

Riding high! Earlier this summer Adam overcame a shake start, and defeat in the 100m, to win gold in the 50m breaststroke in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

The sportsman wrote in the full caption of his statement: ‘Eiri and I have decided to go our separate ways. We have enjoyed a wonderful three years together, 2 of those with our gorgeous son George. 

‘Our priority has always been to provide the happiest and healthiest home environment for him, and right now that means ending our romantic relationship. 

‘This next chapter of my life is surely going to be an incredibly difficult one. I would appreciate that people would refrain from commenting, speculating or messaging. 

‘I have shared so much of my life, but for now I’m choosing privacy and I hope that you will all respect that.

‘I love and appreciate you all so much and I’m so thankful for all the fun and opportunities you’ve given me. 

‘I am going to be taking a break from social media, so goodbye for now. Thank you so much for everything.’

It's over: And just weeks after his partner Eiri was seen cheering him on, Adam announced on Tuesday that he had split from his partner after three years together (pictured last year)

It’s over: And just weeks after his partner Eiri was seen cheering him on, Adam announced on Tuesday that he had split from his partner after three years together (pictured last year) 



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