The reigning World and Olympic Sprint Champion Victoria Pendleton, awarded an MBE and a CBE to boot, is the golden girl of British cycling with three Olympic medals glimmering around her neck. Now slotting her well-pedalled feet into horses’ stirrups, Victoria has made her competitive debut as a jockey where she continues to excel in the world of sport, a passion that pervades her thought-provoking Q & A sessions.
From bike pedals to dance floors to the stirrups of racehorses, Victoria Pendleton is not one to put her feet up: winning three Olympic medals during her successful track cycling days, and seven world championships, Victoria is an inspirational keynote speaker.
Victoria started showing promise on grass tracks as a teenager. At the age of 16, she was spotted by the assistant national track team coach, Marshall Thomas, but was resolved to focus on her education. Later, at university, she started to train more constructively for track sprinting. Growing up with a keen interest in Olympic sport, medal winners were igniting Victoria’s own passion for sport.
Competing at the European Championships and Commonwealth Games in Manchester in the early 2000s, Victoria decided to attend the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland for two seasons in the lead up to the Athens Olympics; it was here that she was trained by Frederic Magne, a 7 times World Champion for France.
Her sprint Gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 was the pinnacle of a thrilling career. As the sport gained momentum and popularity, so did ‘golden girl’ Victoria: she went on to win a Gold and Silver medal at the London 2012 Olympic games, and she was awarded a CBE in the 2013 honours list.
Retiring from cycling on a rather victorious high in 2012, Victoria’s released her autobiography Between the Lines where she recounts her experiences in honest detail; in the same year, she worked as a design consultant with Halfords to release a Pendleton-branded range of women's bikes.
Victoria’s feet were kept in motion as Brendan Cole’s partner on Strictly Come Dancing. Her face has also been featured on television as the subject of a BBC documentary, as brand ambassador for Pantene, and on Emmerdale in an exclusive guest appearance.
In 2014, Pendleton spoke about the importance of sport in education at the Conservative Party Conference, after introducing the Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan. Her move into horse-riding proved that she can be tenacious in anything she takes on. Racing in the 2016 Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham Victoria achieved a brilliant 5th place, having only sat on a horse 12 months prior.
Returning to the Olympics in 2016, Victoria was a BBC Pundit for the Games, analysing fellow Olympians in the sport she prevailed in. Sharing her incredible story in both cycling and as a jockey, Victoria will inspire audiences to also follow their dreams and achieve great things.
Her speaking topics include:
- Overcoming obstacles in sport
- Achieving success
- Olympic Cyclist to jockey story
- Q&A on her career