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Woman Spotlight Wednesday: Jennie Gow

Written by Alejandra Guajardo Lozano, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Image Credits - Getty Images

Women have played an influential role throughout the history of motor racing. Many have taken to the wheels of motorsport machines, while numerous figures have worked tirelessly on the sidelines in various roles, shaping the racing world to the present day. Woman Spotlight Wednesday aims to take a look at the tales of these superwomen, who have surpassed various hurdles to reach where they are today.

Today’s article dives into an inspiring recovery story that is still in process. Jennie Gow is an English radio presenter and commentator, starring as one of the lead commentators in the infamous Netflix docuseries "Drive to Survive¨.

She started working for BBC Sport back in 1999, before taking part of a brief spell at 107.4 The Quay in Portsmouth before becoming Breakfast Show host on Somerset's Orchard FM. After being spotted by a TV producer, Gow was asked to present the FIM World Longtrack Championships. This resulted in her presenting independently produced speedway and motocross productions for Channel 4, Sky Sports, Men & Motors and Motors TV.

Gow also worked with ITV, Five, and became a presenter for Sky Sports in 2006. In 2010, she was appointed to present BBC's MotoGP coverage alongside Matt Roberts, and the commentary team formed by Charlie Cox and Steve Parrish. She also covered the Canadian and Hungarian Grands Prix in 2011, and earned a permanent role from the 2012 season.

The English presenter has been a figure in the sport for years, with her knowledge and professionalism, she has captivated the eyes of many, sharing the passion for motorsport with the spectators.

Sadly, Gow suffered from a major stroke caused by a cough from a viral infection, in December 2022. Her husband Jamie Coley found her collapsed in the bathroom. They told her a blood clot flew up, and caused the stroke on the left side of her brain, causing her to lose the ability to move or speak.

The BBC reporter was taken care of by a nurse, who advised her to get angry and scream with the intent of trying to get her speech back.

“I thought I couldn’t do that,” she told the paper. “I definitely could have imagined myself not speaking for a lot longer, maybe months.”

This actually gave results, plus she has been in therapy ever since. Her recovery process is still ongoing, but the reporter has decided not to give up, her smile still present during her temporary comeback at the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix, even after her career was put in doubt due to her speech loss. The doctors called her stroke a `fatal stroke´, but the English reporter gained all her strength and made a magnificent appearance in the F1 weekend alongside her husband, who was there to assist her.

Jennie Gow is a reporter who has been in the sport for almost a decade, present on screens around the world, trying to bring us closer to Motorsport. Even after a life-threatening incident, she still found a way to appear with a smile on her face and her usual charisma. An inspiring recovery story still ongoing, as the BBC presenter said her speech is “Slowly coming back to normal”. She is truly a super woman.


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