Olympic gold medallist, 32
“I have to admit this isn’t the first time I have danced. I took ballet when I was little but after two lessons I told my mum that my feet hurt and I wanted to stop. In truth I was just bored so I told a big lie. I found good toes, bad toes, good toes, bad toes, good toes, bad toes so tedious…
Brendan Cole has assured me that there won’t be any of that but my feet are already killing me. Honestly. I have spent the last couple of weeks hobbling around trying not to get cramp. I’ve been banned from wearing heels for the last ten years and wearing them all day is agony. The flexibility in my feet is also very limited, which has always been an advantage in cycling. When you are pedalling, you need to keep your foot in the same position throughout the revolution otherwise you don’t get 100 per cent power transfer to the pedals. Now my stiff ankles are a disadvantage and I’m struggling to change.
It is exciting and terrifying in equal measure, turning my back on cycling and starting something completely new, but having another focus straightaway has helped me. Other people would have taken a holiday but stopping training entirely and losing the structure of a daily routine would have been impossible for me.
I can’t wait to get my spangly new dress on and get out on the dance floor on Saturday because there is no pressure on me to be any good at this. I’m definitely nervous about the live shows and elimination, but I’m not dreading it at all. Dread is stepping up to the starting line at the Olympics with millions of people watching and only one chance to get it right. I have had a lot of pressure on me for the last few years so I just want to enjoy this and if I trip up on my feet, fall flat on my face and drag Brendan crashing down on top of me it isn’t the end of the world.
I have been the best in the world at something already. I can’t be greedy – it would be selfish to want to conquer the ballroom and the velodrome.