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James Cracknell, 48, is ENGAGED to girlfriend of 17 months Jordan Connell, 35

James Cracknell, 48, is ENGAGED to girlfriend of 17 months Jordan Connell, 35, nearly two years after finalising his divorce from ex-wife Beverley Turner

  • The Olympic rower, 48, met the American financier, 35, when he studied at Cambridge University in 2018
  • Father-of-three James’ exciting news comes nearly two years after he split from presenter Beverley, 47, following 17 years of marriage 
  •  The TV host and the sporting champion finalised their divorce in March 2019 after splitting in 2018 
  • Beverley and James married in 2002 and are parents to three children; Croyde, 15, Kiki, 11, and Trixie, nine
  • The former couple split after a nine year struggle following a crippling brain injury, which Beverley nursed him back to health from 

James Cracknell has revealed he’s engaged to his girlfriend of 17 months, Jordan Connell.

The rowing champion, 48 – who met the American financier, 35 – when he studied at Cambridge University in 2018, confirmed the couple are set to wed in an announcement in The Times on Monday.

Father-of-three James’ exciting news comes nearly two years after he split from presenter Beverley Turner following 17 years of marriage. 

The former couple split after a nine-year struggle following a crippling brain injury, which the TV host, 47, nursed him back to health from.  

Wedding bells: James Cracknell has revealed he’s engaged to his girlfriend of 17 months, Jordan Connell (pictured in 2019)

The Olympian’s new fiancée, who is believed to split her time between London and the US, spent 12 months training for an MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School while James studied for a masters in human evolution at Peterhouse College.

At 46, the former Strictly star became the oldest student to compete in the Boat Race at the prestigious university.

The pair started dating after finishing their degrees and have been living together in London throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  

The sportsman was left in a coma and sustained damage to the part of the brain that governs memory, personality, and speech after he was knocked off his bike by the wing mirror of a petrol tanker in Arizona.

Former spouse: The 38-year-old rowing champion's news comes nearly two years after he split from presenter Beverley Turner following 17 years of marriage (pictured in 2016)

Former spouse: The 38-year-old rowing champion’s news comes nearly two years after he split from presenter Beverley Turner following 17 years of marriage (pictured in 2016)

Exciting: The father-of-three, who met the financier, 35, when he studied at Cambridge in 2018, confirmed the couple are set to wed in an announcement on Monday (pictured in 2019)

Exciting: The father-of-three, who met the financier, 35, when he studied at Cambridge in 2018, confirmed the couple are set to wed in an announcement on Monday (pictured in 2019)

Following their separation, Beverley reflected on how she helped him recover in an interview with The Times. 

The Happy Birth Book author said at the time: ‘A formerly quiet man, he couldn’t stop talking, but certainly stopped listening. I had my silent screams in the shower so the children wouldn’t hear. 

‘Acquired brain injury is contagious — the whole family catches it and soon everyone is snapping, sighing, arguing and slamming doors. After a brain injury a couple’s dynamic typically becomes one of parent and child, complete with nagging, resistance, resentment and sulking. 

‘The ‘adult’ wants to nurture and protect the ‘child’ who they have almost lost once. Yet it’s crushing and stultifying for the survivor who just wants their independence.’ 

Love story: The financial consultant spent a year training for an MBA while the Olympian studied for a masters in human evolution (pictured in 2019)

Love story: The financial consultant spent a year training for an MBA while the Olympian studied for a masters in human evolution (pictured in 2019)

Going strong: The pair started dating after finishing their degrees and have been living together in London throughout the coronavirus pandemic (pictured last July)

Going strong: The pair started dating after finishing their degrees and have been living together in London throughout the coronavirus pandemic (pictured last July)

This Morning star Beverley petitioned for a divorce in March 2019 on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour, which he did not oppose. 

They went their separate ways eight months after James moved to Cambridge and Beverley felt he was abandoning the family. 

The athlete later claimed the ‘complex’ separation was ‘a long time coming’ and was nothing to do with the Boat Race or the 2010 brain injury that almost killed him. 

The media personality told the Daily Telegraph at the time: ‘It wasn’t going to university or competing in the Boat Race that ended the marriage. And it wasn’t even the accident, although our marriage was dealt a bad hand with that. 

‘As anybody who is married or has been married will know, break-ups are far more complex than anybody else [outside the marriage] really knows.

‘There’s this perception that I’ve left my family to go off to Cambridge, selfishly, but that’s a little exaggerated. And while, yes, it may seem selfish, it also pays the bills.’

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