The first being in 1997, having started a new job at Royal Mail, Hedman said she was quitting due to work commitments; but admits now that racist abuse played it’s part.
“Sometimes you just think, ‘oh for God’s sake’,” she said to the BBC as part of their Sport Insight series. “I thought to myself why should I give up?
“It’s something I enjoy. If you don’t like me then that’s your problem. I’m not here to please you. I’m here to play a game that I enjoy. I won’t be pushed out by someone. I just tried not to let them grind me down.”
“I am a fighter”
This also happened though years later when she took a break in 2007 to return in 2010 and nothing seemed to change; it is even the case now with it being reported in 2019 that she had received vile racist abuse through email but Hedman won’t let them win.
“You think: ‘Really? In this day and age?’” Hedman added.
“I just take it in my stride, if they say it in front of me I confront them. If I hear somebody say something and I don’t know who it is I can’t do anything about it.”
“I am a fighter,” she continued. “I don’t give up. If I like something and I want to do something, I will climb mountains to do it. When I get there and I’ve achieved it then I’ve done it so it’s basically: in your face.
“That’s my mentality and if somebody tries to put me down I will not sit down until I get the better of them. That’s what drives me.”
Tags: Deta Hedman
Author: Samuel Gill