Having dedicated much of her life to the male-dominated realm of professional sport, 35-year-old British Olympian Victoria Pendleton knows all too well what it’s like to be told she wasn’t capable of achieving her dreams. “I was perceived to be too small and tiny, not powerful enough because I was considered too “girly”,” Pendleton says. “The perception of athletes and their physical appearance stood in the way of people believing I was capable.”
But words and old-fashioned thinking weren’t about to stop the former track cyclist becoming one of Britain’s most successful female athletes. When Pendleton started out her track cycling team was predominantly male but the high-achieving athlete’s two Olympic gold medals quickly made the sporting and wider community realise that female cyclists could conquer their dreams. “My titles, achievements, and honesty in the press, helped to change the perception and incorrect stereotypes associated with the sport, and in turn, encouraged more women to take up track cycling. The team is now 50:50 male to female,” explains Pendleton.
Pendleton may have hung up her track cycling shoes, but the cyclist-turned-jockey wants to use her own experience to make a difference in the life of women around the globe. By teaming with Clinique and telling her story, Pendleton’s mission is to inspire young women to never limit themselves while helping to provide them with the opportunities they need to achieve their dreams.