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Zara Phillips Inspired Olympian Chemmy Alcott To Compete At Sochi; Swans Named After Zara and Husband Mike Tindall Become Valentine’s Day Symbols

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Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall
(Photo : Twitter) Zara Phillips Tindall and Mike Tindall

Zara Phillips has been keeping a low profile since giving birth to her daughter Mia Grace on January 17 (except for one public appearance at a Gloucestershire rugby match on February 1), but the royal is making headlines again for inspiring her friend Chemmy Alcott to go to the Sochi Olympics – and for inspiring a pair of Valentine’s Day swans with her husband Mike Tindall.

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Zara, of course, is an Olympian herself – she competed in the London Olympics as a member of the Great Britain Eventing Team and won a silver medal. Her friend, Chemmy Alcott, a skier, has said that Zara inspired her to recover from two broken legs and compete at Sochi.

“After my first big accident, which was back in 2010, I felt like I wanted to escape a little bit. Zara invited me to come and stay with her for a while and watch her train. Well, I have never seen anyone train as hard as her,” Alcott told the Daily Mirror.

“We would get up at 6.30am most mornings. I would watch her train for an hour and a half on one horse. I’d say: ‘That’s great. Can we can get some ¬breakfast now?’ But she’d reply: ‘I have got four other horses to do this on’. I couldn’t believe it.

“As an athlete, you always think you work harder than everyone else. But when I saw Zara and what she does, I just had a massive respect for her as both an athlete and as a person.”

Zara is also setting an example in love: two swans named after her and her husband, Mike Tindall, are the face of WWT Slimbridge’s Valentine’s Day trail, writes the Western Daily Press. Like all swans (and hopefully like their royal namesakes), lovebirds Zara and Tindall mate for life.

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Reporter's Photo Feb 12, 2014 02:23 PM EST

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