Name: Victoria Pendleton
Famous for: Taking home cycling gold medals at the Beijing and London Olympic Games.
Bio: Team GB’s Queen of the velodrome is the daughter of Max Pendleton – a keen cyclist who introduced his youngest daughter to the cycling track at the age of nine. But it wasn’t until a degree in Sport and Exercise Science at Northumbria University was completed that she graduated to become a full-time athlete.
To begin with she seemed cursed by the perennial British ailment of fourth place, just missing out on medals in the Commonwealth Games and World Championships between 2002-2004. But by 2005, she’d won her first gold medal, becoming World Champion in the women’s sprint.
Fast-forward to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and she became Queen Victoria – triumphant on the track with a gold medal in the Women’s Individual Sprint Event. But the golden girl of the moment suffered personal hardship when her relationship with one of her coaches, Scott Gardner, caused discord amongst the GB cycling team (not to mention a load of column-inches following her voiced opinions).
The London 2012 Games were to be Pendleton’s last. A chance to win three gold medals went begging, when her world record-setting partnership with Jess Varnish ended in disqualification, and her individual sprint hopes fell to Australian Anna Meares.
See Victoria and other Team GB Olympians in this Adidas video...
Victoria talks about her relationship with Scott Gardner...
Victoria Pendleton is the new face of Pantene. Watch this behind the scenes video...