Pauline Pendleton finds it hard to look when daughter Victoria takes to the track, despite her daughter being an Olympic gold medallist and nine-time world champion. In fact, Pauline has taken to hiding in the toilet when Victoria races!
“I can’t bear to watch – I have to go and hide,” says Pauline, who has been there every step of the way along Victoria’s career, which is due to end after this summer’s Games. “I will be there at the stadium, but I’ll probably be in the toilets.”
She added: “I met Sir Chris Hoy’s mum in the Ladies at an event not long ago. She said to me ‘it doesn’t get any easier watching does it?’ And she’s right. The more they win, the higher the expectations and the more pressure they face every time they race.”
Victoria says her mum has nothing to worry about when she gets her Olympics underway on Thursday in the team sprint.
“I am feeling really positive now. Six months ago I wouldn’t have been this positive, but I went to the World Championships and won an event and I know I have more to give because my training has been aimed at me being at my peak this week.
“Because it’s the London Olympics there is more attention, but having the home crowd on my side will be exciting and how could that not be an advantage?”
Pauline admits she will be a lot more relaxed when Victoria retires.
“I will be so relieved when she finishes after the Olympics. I know this is what she wants and I will support her all the way, but it will be lovely when she has time to do normal things and I can have my daughter back.”
First though, there is the task of one last dream to be accomplished and Victoria says she will be taking inspiration from her mum.
“When you have given so much of your life to something your worst nightmare is to look back and think what if… I don’t want to have any regrets,” she added. “It is hard to keep things in perspective, but as my mum has always said, I can only do my best; if I do all this and it doesn’t come out right on the day at least I will know that’s exactly what I have done.”