OLYMPIC rowing champ James Cracknell is “getting close” to a university student cheerleader after ending his 17-year marriage, reports claim.
Double gold medallist James, 47, is being comforted by Cambridge University finance student Jordan Connell, who is in her early 30s, according to MailOnline.
James Cracknell is ‘getting close’ to university student cheerleader Jordan Connell (right)[/caption]
James is understood to have developed a friendship with Jordan, who is originally from the US[/caption]
They were pictured enjoying the Henley Royal Regatta together last Saturday – just one day before The Sun revealed he had got a “quickie” divorce.
James and his estranged TV host wife Beverley, 45, dissolved their marriage with a decree nisi at London’s Central Family Court.
The couple announced their split in April and have been open about the struggles they have faced since James suffered brain injuries when he was hit by a lorry on a cycle ride in the US.
The accident left the dad-of-three with epilepsy, a changed personality and a short temper.
Since the breakdown of his marriage, James is understood to have developed a friendship with Jordan, who is originally from the US.
They are believed to have met during their time studying at Cambridge – as James is currently working towards a Master of Philosophy degree in human evolution at the prestigious uni.
A source told MailOnline: “They have become very close and since his marriage break up there are few people who would deny him the support of an attractive young woman.
“The end of James’ marriage to Bev has been amicable and friendly but there’s always going to be regret and maybe loneliness when something like that happens so it’s great he’s going his own way.”
James has been spotted with the pretty blonde a number of times at the Henley Royal Regatta.
They were recently photographed with another man and woman in a photo captioned: “Fab four”.
Jordan is a member of the ‘Cambridge Cougars’ – a uni cheerleading team that supports students at sports events.
After revealing he had separated from Beverley, James said: “It will be a different family unit.
“Hopefully it will all work out with the kids.
“It’s not going to be the same but they are important.
“Both Bev and I dealt with the emotional stuff and got over it.”
And talking about their marriage problems in a magazine interview last year, Beverley said: “We have had to work quite hard to make sure our relationship is OK.
“The reality is every relationship will go a bit sh**.”
Beverley – a TV and radio presenter and pregnancy expert – has also said: “Almost nothing has changed for the children and we will work hard to keep it that way.”
James helped the Cambridge University rowing team beat Oxford in the Boat Race in April.
The Sun told last month how James was tipped to star on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing – after Beverley previously banned him.
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Court paperwork showed that Beverley had petitioned for divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.
James did not oppose her application.
The pair wed at Clearwell Castle, Gloucestershire in 2002.