From fighting for her life to becoming world champion, one British cyclist’s journey to the Olympics is inspiring the country, the Mirror reports.
When Laura Trott, who is from Hertfordshire, England, was born, her doctors told her parents that she was unlikely to make it. Born a month prematurely, Trott had suffered a collapsed lung and was struggling to breathe.
Incredibly, after a fight for life that lasted more than six weeks, Trott pulled through, the Daily Express reports.
Trott, now 20, is very much alive and riding high — a double world cycling champion who is going to be heading to the 2012 Summer Olympics, just a stone’s throw awayfrom where she now lives in London.
“It’s hard to believe I’ve gone from fighting for my life to being a world champion and competing in the Games,” the British athlete, who is just over 5 ft. tall, told theMirror.
As a child, doctors encouraged Trott to get involved in sports to strengthen her lung. She took up trampolining and quickly became an expert at it, almost making it to the British national side, the Mirror reports. However, she had to give it up when she began fainting while practicing complex moves. Doctors performed tests but were unable to figure out what was wrong.
However, a chance brush with cycling 12 years ago led her to pursue the sport, and she’s now taking the British sporting world by storm.
After watching Trott compete at the Track Cycling World Championships earlier this month, British Cycling’s performance director Dave Brailsworth said the young athlete had quite possibly been “the star of the show,”the Telegraph reports.
Trott clinched two gold medals at the championships held in Melbourne, Australia — in the three-kilometer team pursuit and the six-discipline omnium.
Her win in the omnium competition — one of the toughest in the sport — was unexpected and stunned the cycling world, the Daily Express reports.
According to the BBC, Trott might be the favorite to win the omnium at the 2012 London Olympics.
However, Trott’s journey to the Games has not always been smooth.
Suffering from both asthma and a stomach condition, Trott said that she is sick after nearly every race.
“I’ve got a high acid lining in my stomach. So when I try hard or tense my stomach muscles it causes problems,” she said. ”It doesn’t even bother me any more. At least it shows that I’m trying.”
Her coach Paul Manning told the Guardian that Trott’s can-do attitude has inspired the whole team.
“She’s a great personality and that works to the benefit of the squad,” he said. ”It’s infectious, it’s a fun place to be and it makes it easier to put the hard work in front of them. With Laura around having sore legs is more fun.”