Saturday, 21 July 2012

Victoria Pendleton Documentary

Watched the documentary earlier in the week, on BBC1, about Victoria Pendleton. It was pretty inspirational stuff. It showed the amount of work and dedication needed if you want to get to the top in sport. Often you see the glamorous photo shoots or adverts or podium presentations, but you rarely see all the unglamorous stuff going on in the background, which was shown in the documentary.

It should be said that her achievements are even greater when you realise that, according to the documentary, the Britsh Cycling Management Team seemed completely devoid of any kind of emotional support.You got the impression they would be happier managing a team of robots rather than real human beings.

Firstly there was the romance with her coach. Work place romances are commonplace and are not illegal, nor morally wrong. Often management turn a blind eye, which rather sensibly seems to have been done in the first instance. However, why the manager chose the day she won a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics to tell everyone in the cycling team about their relationship - despite the fact it was none of their business - seems to be a case study of not how to handle such an issue. Let's be perfectly clear, neither VP or her coach have done anything wrong and have absolutely nothing to apologise for. In fact, despite raising some sort of initial moral issues, and sending the coach off to the swimming team, the management can't have too many scruples as they've brought him back into the team.

Secondly, just after she won the 2012 world championship, she collapsed to the floor, and Dave Brailsford, instead of hugging her or showing some empathy, shouted "Steve" - who is the psychiatrist - clearly anything to do with emotion is done by him - to sort the situation out !! He seemed quite a nice chap, but you got the impression he has his work cut out after the riders have been through the tough training regime that is in place.

In fact the only person in the documentary who seemed to have even less emotion that the above people was the mysterious Swiss coach, who came across as some sort of "Terminator" type character. 

Anyhow, hope VP wins gold in London. Whatever happens, she is a legend in British cycling.

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