Olympian Jana Pittman ‘ashamed’ of divorce from first husband


Olympian Jana Pittman says she felt like ‘the black sheep’ after becoming the first person in her family to get divorced, but admits she’s ‘proud’ to be a single mother.

The SAS Australia finalist, 39, who has six children, also revealed that she plans to enlist in the army.

Speaking to Daily Telegraph, she explained: ‘In my parents’ generation, they fought and they made up because divorce was taboo. I was the first person to be divorced in my entire network – and I was ashamed of that.’

Olympian Jana Pittman says she felt like ‘the black sheep’ after becoming the first person in her family to get divorced, but admits she’s ‘proud’ to be a single mother. Pictured with her ex-husband Chris Rawlinson in 2007

But the twice-married, four-time Olympic gold medallist said she’s ‘very proud’ she put herself through medical school ‘as a solo parent on no income’.

Pittman is mother to son Cornelius, 15, whom she shares with her first husband, British Olympian Chris Rawlinson.

She also has daughters Emily, seven, and Jemima, five, who she conceived via donors, and Charles, one, and four-month-old twins Willow and Quinlan, who she welcomed with second husband Paul Gatward.

The mother-of-six recently revealed that she’s in the process of enlisting and is excited to follow in the footsteps of other family members who have served.

‘I am halfway through that application, but I had the twins, so it has been delayed,’ said Jana, following the birth of Willow and Quinlan in October. 

Pittman is mother to son Cornelius, 15, whom she shares with her first husband. She also has daughters Emily, seven, and Jemima, five, who she conceived via donors, one-year-old son Charles and four-month-old twins Willow and Quinlan

Pittman is mother to son Cornelius, 15, whom she shares with her first husband. She also has daughters Emily, seven, and Jemima, five, who she conceived via donors, one-year-old son Charles and four-month-old twins Willow and Quinlan

Pittman already has an impressive career behind her including winning medals at the Commonwealth Games, becoming a qualified doctor and starring in the gruelling military-style reality show SAS Australia. 

She’s also the first woman, and the second Australian athlete in history, to compete in both the summer and winter Olympic Games for relay and bobsleigh.

But her decision to join the military has been primarily influenced by her family as her brother, grandfather, brother-in-law and father-in-law are all veterans.

‘My brother was an ex-Afghan veteran, my grandfather was in the army and my husband’s brother is in the army, as is his father. Also my grandparents were Dutch and went through (Nazi occupation in) World War II,’ she said.

‘So we have seen first hand how the war can impact them when they come home. I have grown up with a lot of respect for veterans.’

The mother-of-six, 39, is in the process of enlisting and is excited to follow in the footsteps of other family members who have served

The mother-of-six, 39, is in the process of enlisting and is excited to follow in the footsteps of other family members who have served

Pittman’s brother Ryan was involved in the military for ‘several years’ and did tours in Afghanistan. 

It was her brother’s experience in the army that made Pittman want to become involved and promote the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay.

The Legacy Centenary Torch Relay is a six-month campaign that acknowledges veterans and families of veterans.

The torch for next year’s campaign will travel over 50,000 kilometres through 100 locations including France, the UK and Australia. It will be carried by approximately 1,500 torch bearers.

Pittman was on season two of SAS Australia and was one of just five recruits – and the only woman – to make it to the very end of the gruelling course.

She was ultimately eliminated by the directing staff, with NRL star Sam Burgess being the only recruit who passed. 

Jana comes from a military family. Her brother, grandfather, brother-in-law and father-in-law all served in the army. Jana is pictured on SAS Australia

Jana comes from a military family. Her brother, grandfather, brother-in-law and father-in-law all served in the army. Jana is pictured on SAS Australia 

 

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