Further Personal Information
||Dentistry - Dundee University: Dundee, SCO
Sport Specific Information
|When and where did you begin this sport?
||She began serious cycling relatively late at the age of 27 in 2002.
|Why this sport?
||She initially turned to cycling as a means of recovering from a marathon competition. She started training with her husband who recognised her potential and encouraged her to compete in a time trial.
|Club / Team
||Bike Chain Ricci: Bristol, ENG
|Name of coach
|Coach from which country?
||She does a mixture of track, road and gym work depending on what phase of training she's in and how near she is to an important competition. She generally trains four hours a day, six days a week.
||Mountain climbing, hockey, horse riding, reading books and magazines, drinking coffee and shopping. (britishcycling.org.uk, 10 Feb 2008)
|Memorable sporting achievement
||Winning the silver medal in the 3000m pursuit at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and winning silver in the same event at the 2009 World Championships in Poland. (track-pruzkow2009.com, 25 Mar 2009)
|Most influential person in career
||Her husband, Ian Houvenaghel. (NOC, 31 Jul 2008)
|Hero / Idol
||British cyclist Yvonne McGregor. (NOC, 31 Jul 2008)
||She sustained a back injury in 2007 which forced her out of the national championships. (britishcycling.org.uk, 10 Feb 2008)
Two weeks before the 2007 World Championships she strained an intercostal muscle in her ribs. She was unable to breathe properly but kept the injury to herself so that her opponents wouldn't hear about it. "Its been hampering my own mental approach to the competition although I have tried to block it out." (britishcycling.org.uk, 05 Oct 2007)
|Sporting philosophy / motto
||"Winning is always worth the pain and the training. For me that is what it is all about, it is about nothing else but winning." (londoncyclesport.com, 30 Mar 2007)
||To win an Olympic gold medal. (velouk.net, 23 Nov 2011)
She first cycled for Great Britain at the age of 31 in 2005. Previously, she worked as a part time dentist in the Royal Air Force. (londoncyclesport.com, 05 Oct 2007; britishcycling.org.uk, 07 Apr 2008)
She only gave up her job as a dentist to become a full-time cyclist in 2006 and said her preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing was chaotic, but her medal provided her with more motivation for the future. "I had a very rushed two years. Going from having no track cycling experience to competing for a podium place at the Olympics. I am really proud of myself for getting that medal. Having achieved the silver medal gave me the motivation and fire to continue for a gold." (bbc.co.uk, 29 Aug 2008, velouk.net, 23 Nov 2011)
She is a patron of the One and All Cycling Youth Academy, designed to create more opportunities for participation in cycling related activities for young people under the age of 18 in Cornwall. (velouk.net, 06 Feb 2012)