We watched another TV programme about another of Britain’s medal hopes. Another one. Yes.
Victoria Pendleton, after Jess Ennis, is the sexy one. She’s the one whose dress gets featured in the Sun the day after SPOTY awards, the one who gets all the photo shoots in the tight cycling uniform. She also happens to have won six World Championships in the individual sprint, and took home gold from the Beijing Games. The fact that she’s a hottie is just a bonus for British Cycling
If you’re not a fan of the Olympics, the next few weeks on the BBC are not going to be a lot of fun. Wednesday night was no different. The BBC followed Vicky Pendleton closely over the last year, and what shone through most was the candour with which she spoke to the cameras. Often with these biopic documentaries, the subject’s early life can be over-played, with David Beckham’s red card against Argentina put down to his fallout with Jason Atkinson in Year 3.
In Vicky’s case though, as she talks about her “if you’re not first you’re last” attitude, and almost pathological need to please others, you really can see how her twin brother’s near-fatal illness early in her life, and her dad’s regret at never taking his cycling to the highest level, drove her on to greater things. Having nearly quit the sport after her poor performance at the Athens Olympics, Pendleton came back to trounce her career-long rival Anna Meares in the Olympic final. I watched that performance, and despite racing someone with whom she has been closely competing all her career, she won by 2 bike lengths.
It’s not overstating it to say that she has had a real roller coaster of a career. The BBC have locked onto that, and have somehow condensed it into an hour. Watch it, maybe just before her final. If nothing else, she is stunning.