Raising an Olympian: Victoria Pendleton
While British Olympian Victoria Pendleton has cycling in her genes -- her father, Max, was an elite grass-track cyclist -- she wasn't always an obvious champ to her mom. Now a record breaking, world-class athlete, Pendleton's sporting abilities are no longer in question.
"Her father raced for many years and the rest of the family followed in his footsteps. I personally never realized she had particular talent on the bicycle," admits her mom Pauline Pendleton, whose eyes opened when her daughter often beat her brother when they raced.
As Victoria Pendleton grew up, she became a fierce competitor. Her mom always tried to remind her that as long as she did her best, that was good enough. When her daughter failed to bring home any medals from the 2004 Athens Games, the disappointment was clear. Says Pauline Pendleton: "When she got home she got very upset. She threw the racing kit that she had used into the dust bin. I thought that was a little bit drastic so I retrieved it from the wheelie bin, washed it and kept it as a memento for her. We try to point out to her that whenever she does have a little set back, you can only do your best."
Despite missing the mark in Athens, the cyclist went on to win many more events, including a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games. Victoria Pendleton is again competing at the London Olympics and at the time of writing has another gold medal to her name and is in the final of the Keirin event.
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