Why couldn't WE have the perfect Olympic romance Victoria Pendleton complains as teammates Laura Trott and Jason Kenny 'get away' with having a relationship
13:15 GMT, 24 August 2012
When it was revealed that Britain's top female cyclist Victoria Pendleton was having a relationship with coach Scott Gardner, it sparked such an outrage with her management and teammates that she was vilified and he was forced to resign from his job.
So when Olympians Laura Trott and Jason Kenny exposed their love for one another with a very public display of affection during London 2012, Victoria admitted she felt a little bit 'put out' that they have been able to 'get away' with having a relationship.
relationships with teammates before and it was really frowned upon, but
it’s okay for them,' she told the Evening Standard.
Course of true love didn't run smooth: Victoria Pendleton and Scott Gardner had a hard time when it was first revealed they were a couple
She added: 'Nobody seems to be bothered about it.
But when it was me, it was a big issue.'
The gold medal winning track cyclist said the way she was treated for falling in love with Scott, who is now her fianc, contributed to her decision to quit the sport this year.
The 31-year-old said she 'probably would have' carried on after London 2012, where she added another gold and silver medal to her impressive collection, if her life hadn't been made so difficult thanks to her relationship.
'There were times when I really dreaded going into work. There were certain members of the team, people I’ve clashed with mainly
through being with Scott, that I just can’t deal with any more,' she told the newspaper.
Golden couple: Victoria said Laura Trott and Jason Kenny, pictured kissing during London 2012, can 'get away' with having a relationship
didn’t commit a crime but [they] make me feel that I have and I should
never be forgiven… There were athletes who were a bit annoyed that they
have now missed out on Scott’s expertise as a consequence of us having a
relationship and I did get the feeling on a couple of occasions that
they would prefer to have him, rather than me, there.'
The path of true love has been a lot smoother for Laura, 20, and Jason, 24, who each won two golds in the Olympic velodrome this summer.
After they were pictured kissing while watching a women's volleyball match, the pair confirmed they were an item and that it had never been a secret.
No longer a secret: Victoria gives Scott a celebratory kiss after winning the gold medal at this year's Olympics
'So yes it's out there me and @JasonKenny107 are dating. Been a little while now just didn't want the distraction before the games,' Laura Tweeted after the pictures were published.
While it would have helped that the pair were not in the public eye before their London 2012 achievements, Victoria admits her own experience may also have paved the way for making their relationship more acceptable within the professional cycling world.
'Maybe I have helped them in going through that, I’ve
created an environment where they can get away with it now,' she said.
She added the fact that Laura and Jason are both cyclists also makes things easier for them whereas her relationship with Scott was viewed as 'a conflict of interest' because he was in a position of responsibility.
Fall out: Scott had to resign from his job on the Team GB cycling squad while Victoria was made to feel guilty and isolated after their relationship was made public
'As far as the senior management are concerned relationships between coaches and riders are not allowed. It is because the coach is in this position of responsibility. It’s rather like a teacher and pupil getting together, that’s how much of a taboo it is,' she told the Daily Mail earlier this month.
Scott, 36, was the British cycling team’s sports scientist – the expert data analyst who works with the coaching team to help athletes maximise their potential – when he and Victoria got together before Beijing 2008.
Victoria said their decision to pursue their feelings for one another was not an easy one and the resulting fall out when they went public meant he lost his job.
Dating for a while: Double Olympic champion Laura admitted she kept her relationship quiet before the games so it wouldn't be a distraction
It also tainted what should have been a highlight of her career after she won a gold medal in the women's individual sprint in Beijing.
'Winning the gold medal should have been the happiest day of my entire life and it just wasn't,' she revealed in a BBC documentary earlier this year. 'It felt like the saddest day in my entire life. I felt almost numb. Everyone was so angry that Scott and I had fallen in love. It was so unprofessional – we were a disgrace and had betrayed everybody.'
But such hard times are now behind her as she's planning her wedding and relishing her retirement. 'I haven’t felt this relaxed in ages,' she said.