Written by: Lindy Lehto
They say “behind every successful man, is a woman”.
This is particularly true of one of Formula 1’s most successful drivers, Lewis Hamilton. Whenever you see him outside of his racing car, his assistant Angela Cullen is never far behind. But Angela is so much more than just an assistant, she’s also Lewis’ Performance Coach, Physiotherapist, driver, friend and confidant.
I’ve always been intrigued by Lewis’ right hand woman so I did some digging & she’s a force to be reckoned with! Here are 5 things I learned about her:
1. She’s a kiwi and a former athlete
Angela was born in Auckland, New Zealand. She’s 47 and has been passionate about sport her whole life.
In an interview with her employer Hintsa Performance she said: “I have always had a passion for all sports. I was hugely competitive and got involved in everything from netball, soccer, cricket, volleyball, basketball, to swimming and athletics. If there was a sports team, I wanted to be part of it.
“But it was field hockey that I represented New Zealand in from the ages of 15 to 21. This was my first introduction to high-performance sports and human performance.”
“Being hugely competitive I have always loved the challenge of getting the best out of myself which was soon to translate into getting the best out of others.
Growing up, Angela didn’t just shine on the sports field, she was an academic too and loved maths, science and anatomy. This lead her to obtain a university degree in Health Science and Physiotherapy.
With her passion for sports and love for the sciences, working as a Performance Coach would be a perfect fit.
2. She’s a trained physiotherapist
After qualifying as a Physiotherapist in New Zealand, Angela moved to the UK.
It was there that she worked with professional athletes in a variety of sports from track and field to cycling, and even triathletes on the British Olympic team. In 2016 Her colleague Peter McKnight suggested she work exclusively with Lewis Hamilton, and they’ve been inseparable ever since.
3. She’s married with two children
It’s hard to believe with her busy schedule, but Angela is also a wife and mom of two! I have no idea how she manages to balance it all, but I suppose time management is one of her many skills.
She lives in Switzerland with her husband (who is a cycling coach) and their son and daughter.
And if you’re wondering how she stays in shape, she revealed: “On any given race weekend day I can do up to 18,000 steps, this is such a blessing… and I don’t sit down at all.
“This is a choice… staying upright, moving keeps my body fit and mobile, in a world where computers and devices are making us more sedentary, to be able to move constantly throughout the day is such a blessing.”
4. Angela & Lewis have matching tattoos
You know two people are committed to one another when they have matching tattoos. Angela and Lewis both have the word “Loyalty” tattooed on their wrists. F1 photographer Kym Illman shared some insights saying:
“She’s loyal to Lewis, so loyal in fact, that on her wrist she has loyalty tattooed, like Lewis has on his wrist. The inner-circle are loyal to each other,”
“One of her roles is to get Lewis to the track. Sometimes she even has to act as a bodyguard for Lewis.
“It is her role to eliminate all the distractions for Lewis over a race weekend, so for 4 days, she’s with him almost every minute of those 4 days.”
5. They share a very close bond
In an interview, Lewis revealed: “Angela and I are naturally incredibly close. We pretty much live together.”
Previously, he said: “People for sure won’t understand it, naturally, because they see it from a distance, but she has been one of the greatest things that’s happened to me in my life.
“I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of people… and she’s the single hardest-working woman that I get to be around.
“She’s focused, selfless, and she makes my weekends peaceful. Every day I wake up, whatever time it is, she’s just positive – never a single day has she been negative, so that’s very, very important.”
Angela is such an inspiring woman. She’s a wife, a mom the most valuable assistant in sport and all round badass! She’s absolute goals. You can follow her exciting life on Instagram.
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