Sport / Event: Rowing
Date and Place of Birth: 30 November 1987, St Asaph, Wales
Rowing world championship medallists Victoria Thornley and Helen Glover on 6 June became the first athletes discovered through Talent ID programme Sporting Giants to be selected to represent Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics.
Launched by five-time Olympic rowing champion Sir Steve Redgrave in 2007, the first UK Sport and English Institute of Sport (EIS) Talent ID campaign sought tall and talented athletes with the potential to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in the sports of rowing, handball and volleyball.
Thornley and Glover, neither of whom had set foot in a rowing boat prior to Sporting Giants, were confirmed as members of the 48-strong rowing squad by the British Olympic Association in Windsor.
Having both won medals at world championship and world cup level over the past four years, both are strong medal prospects for London 2012.
Former catwalk model and show jumper Victoria Thornley said: “All I knew in 2007 about rowing was Sir Steve Redgrave’s name and it’s quite strange how one advert led to my life changing.
“This Olympics was always the aim, but I knew it was going to be hard. You don’t let yourself think anything about the Olympics until you are actually selected.”
Vicky’s hard work paid off in 2016 when she won an Olympic silver medal as she helped Katherine Grainger make Team GB history during an incredible race at Rio 2016.
They went into the women’s double scull final on the back of an incredibly difficult summer, which saw their partnership dissolved after a poor performance at the European Championships but reformed after they failed to earn a place in the women’s eight.
Thornley and Grainger rose to the occasion when it really mattered, though, producing a truly courageous and inspirational performance to lead the final for 1,800m. Poland were able to come through in the dying stages to take gold but GB held on for an outstanding silver.
Silver: women’s double scull – Rio Olympic Games, 2016
Bronze: women’s quadruple scull – Belgrade World Cup, May 2012
GB Rowing Team Profile: