'I don't need to act like a bloke to be good at sport': Victoria Pendleton opens up about life as the small and girlie one in the male-dominated world of cycling
08:07 GMT, 11 July 2012
With just seventeen days to go until the biggest sporting event this country has witnessed in lands in the capital, it is no surprise that the athletes are feeling pumped.
One sports star who couldn't be more ready for London 2012 is cyclist Victoria Pendleton.
Opening up to Zest magazine, she said: 'I’m probably in the form of my life, and though I can’t control what my competitors are doing, I feel like I’m really ready for the Games.'
The petite athlete already has an
Olympic gold from Beijing, nine World Championship gold medals, a
European Championship win, plus a Commonwealth title – and she is tipped
for great success for London 2012 in the three events she will compete
British cyclist Victoria Pendleton couldn't be more ready for the Games in just over two weeks
being excited about her last ever Olympics, she doesn’t deny that she’s
looking forward to when they’re finished.
said: 'While I’m incredibly excited about my last Olympics, in all
honesty I’m also quite looking forward to 8 August, when it’s all over!
I’ve been training for this all my life, so I can’t wait to celebrate – win or lose – and say thank you to all the people who’ve helped me along the way.'
But, life hasn’t always been easy. She felt completely isolated during her early cycling years in a male-dominated world.
'People didn’t take me seriously because I was small and girlie and didn’t fit the cycling mould,' she told Zest.
competitions, she says the Russian girls would try to intimidate her by patting her bum or winking at her, but it just made the star more determined not
Victoria once felt isolated on the cycling track but she is more determined that ever now
'I didn’t need to cut off my hair and act like a bloke to be good at sport – I let my cycling do the talking.'
It’s this medal-winning attitude of just being herself that keeps Victoria’s feet firmly on the ground.
'Some people think that by talking about my insecurities, I’m giving my competitors an advantage. I don’t agree.
letting people see that you don’t have to be a superhero to be
successful. If being open gives someone else confidence, I’m happy.'
She reveals that nerves still get to her, she still gets butterflies, feels sick and shaky and feels a massive adrenaline rush. But without it, she says, she couldn’t do my best.
'I’ve been riding in circles since 1989 and it’s all about to end. I’m terrified, excited but determined to go out on a high.'
And what about life after the Olympics
'I’ve thought a bit about my life after the Olympics and I’d love to be a personal trainer,' she says.
I genuinely relish being in the gym – that feeling when you’ve done such a good abs circuit you can’t even stand up straight, and I’d like to share that with people who don’t have the same level of enthusiasm! I might be a bit of a slave driver but I reckon I could encourage some really great results.'
Victoria Pendelton graces this month's cover of Zest with her fellow Olympic athletes
Read the full interview in the August issue of Zest, on sale 12 July