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OLYMPIC REVIEW69LONDON 2012Track cycling has a new look for 2012,what are your plans?There will be three events in London, which I am trying to qualify for. In the team sprint I'mlooking for a team-mate that can deliver a standinglap of 18.9 and deliver me at a faster speed. Thesprint is the most important personally, it's the onethat I will really focus on and it's what I got into thisfor. The Keirin is a bit of a gamble to be honest, I will see what happens.What are you looking forward to most at London 2012?Having an awesome home crowd, we havesome very loyal supporters in Britain. The noise was incredible in Manchester, [at the 2006Commonwealth Games], I got goose bumps out of the gate and almost forgot to pedal! The plans for theOlympic Village look amazing and we won't have totravel far to the Velodrome. To be part of it all is goingto be fantastic and we will be able to see other events when we finish.How did your physique help propel you to Olympic gold?I don't really resemble any of the girls that I race against and don't think that any of them canreally believe how something so small can go so fast.I have a very good power to weight ratio and a verylow drag coefficient, which isn't traditional but I don'thave a huge peak power output like Chris Hoy does. I had trouble to get people to take me seriously to start with because I was so small.What does your average training dayconsist of?I get up around 08:30 and eat a breakfast ofwholemeal toast and cereal. Then I would make myprotein shakes and drinks for the day. I hit the gym at10:00 for about two-and-a-half hours with a focus on leg and core-work, then something like tuna pastafor lunch. I try to grab a quick five minutes with myfeet up before working with the bike from 14:00 until17:00, then protein shakes and home for a hugedinner. I snack for most of the evening and go to bed around 22:00. What do you like to do during any spare time?When I have a bit of spare time, which is notvery often, I like to do some dressmaking and I amalso well known for baking stuff. I like to read andhave friends round for dinner but the non-athletescomplain that I am making them fat!If you weren't an Olympic cyclist, whatwould you be?I wanted to be veterinary nurse when I was younger but I would probably be in the armedforces, I love routine.When did you decide on a career in cycling?I remember in my second year of University watching Jason Queally winning at the Games inSydney and thinking 'there could be something inthis'. I did work experience at the ManchesterVelodrome and I trained every day there. I was livingin a camper van in the car park! That gained meaccess onto the team. What music are you listening to at themoment?I listen to Breatheby The Prodigya lot. Fat of the Landhas to be my most listened to albumalthough recently I have been listening to a lot of 30 seconds to Mars'slater stuff. I like heavier,rockier music than pop. It creates the right mentalplace for sprinting.CYCLING VICTORIAPENDLETONGREAT BRITAIN'S BEIJING CHAMPION WILL BE AIMING TO EMULATE HER TEAM-MATECHRIS HOY BY STRIKING GOLD THREE TIMES IN LONDON AS THE NUMBER OFCYCLING EVENTS OPEN TO WOMEN IS INCREASED IN 2012AQAQAQAQAQAQAQAQ

70OLYMPIC REVIEWLONDON 2012Will it be more difficult for you this year as defending champions?It's always difficult to defend a title, we have a lot of fresh faces including a new coach and wehave to take one step at a time. It's not a negativefor us, we don't let these things go to our head. We have a lot of work to do but I am looking forwardto it. It was definitely the coolest thing that I haveever done! How big is Hockey in Holland?A lot of people play hockey in Holland butsoccer is still the biggest sport by far. TheOlympic Games do bring the game of hockey to alarger audience though. Hockey is getting bigger allthe time and media attention is growing too.How did it feel to score in the BeijingOlympic final and then win gold?The fact that we had achieved our goal took a few days to sink in. When I watch the game again I still get goose bumps. It was a long time ago but I still get the same feeling every time.What do you think of London hosting the Games?I love London! I have only been there oncethough. There are so many people and the shopping isamazing! With all the world's best athletes in one place,the atmosphere is incredible and I am looking forward tobeing in an Olympic village again. It's great that theGames are in London, people can travel from Hollandvery easily, so there will be lotsof support for us. When did you start to play hockey?My mother played and I used to play aroundwith my little hockey stick when I went towatch her. I started to play when I was six althoughbecoming a professional was not anything that Idreamt of, even when I was selected for the Dutchyouth team at the age of 13. I was just playingbecause I loved it. When I turned 18, I began torealise that I could represent Holland and then fouryears later we won the World Cup.Did you always dream of becoming anOlympian? I was very sporty when I was younger. I wouldalways play outside but I didn't watch a lot of TV. Myearliest memory of the Olympic Games was watchingthe swimming when Pieter van den Hoogenband andInge de Bruijn won gold in Sydney in 2000.How does an average training week work?During the club season, we train three days a week with the national team, two days withour clubs with two days rest and a club game onSunday. In the build-up to a tournament, we will trainevery day together as a national team.Where do you have to be strongest to bean international hockey player?We do a lot of work on our core stability so thatwe can be strong on the ball and stay on our feetunder pressure. I was always fast with the ball but you have to be able to take the physical impact too,especially against the British girls!Who will be your most dangerous rivals in London?Australia will be strong in London as well asArgentina, China and Germany. London 2012 maycome too soon for the British girls though.What music do you like to listen to?I generally listen to chart music like Cheryl Cole.HOCKEY NAOMIVANASTHE GOLDEN GIRL OF DUTCH HOCKEY LOOKS AHEAD TO DEFENDING THEIROLYMPIC CROWN IN LONDON IN TWO YEARS TIMEAQAQAQAQAQAQAQAQAQAQ