Victoria Pendleton popped in to see our friends at O2 last week to celebrate their O2 Priority Sports campaign Joy of Cycling. We were invited to gatecrash the event and got 15 minutes to speak with the Olympic hero.

We had a great chat with her and found out loads about her career – including that when she was first approached to try out for the national cycling team, she almost didn’t do it. Fortunately she did as since then she’s achieved nine World Championship titles, two Olympic gold medals, an Olympic silver medal, an Olympic Record, and more world cup medals and national titles than she can count.

“The way I saw it is my time was always very limited as an athlete as it doesn’t last forever – there is only so long you can physically do that job,” she says. “So it’s just a case of making the most of it, being committed to what you do, and doing as well as you can.”

Victoria also offered some advice for getting over setbacks when going after your dream career. “Speak to someone who has a better perspective than you,” she says. “Being a sportsperson you live in this little bubble where it seems like life or death whether you win or lose, when in reality it’s just entertainment.”

“I have a lot of supportive people around me and I have always made use of them,” she adds. “I am not ashamed to say that I am someone who needs help every now and again. Sometimes the world just seems too much of a weight on your shoulders. I have worked with team psychologists and I rely on my friends and family a lot when I’m having tough times. I don’t think there’s any shame in doing that. I think a smart person makes use of the people around them.”

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