By Kim Hookem-Smith | Yahoo Lifestyle
While British Olympian Victoria Pendleton has cycling in her genes -- her father, Max, was an elite grass-track cyclist -- she wasn't always an obvious champ to her mom. Now a record breaking, world-class athlete, Pendleton's sporting abilities are no longer in question.
"Her father raced for many years and the rest of the family followed in his footsteps. I personally never realized she had particular talent on the bicycle," admits her mom Pauline Pendleton, whose eyes opened when her daughter often beat her brother when they raced.
As Victoria Pendleton grew up, she became a fierce competitor. Her mom always tried to remind her that as long as she did her best, that was good enough. When her daughter failed to bring home any medals from the 2004 Athens Games, the disappointment was clear. Says Pauline Pendleton: "When she got home she got very upset. She threw the racing kit that she had used into the dust bin. I thought that was a little bit drastic so I retrieved it from the wheelie bin, washed it and kept it as a memento for her. We try to point out to her that whenever she does have a little set back, you can only do your best."
Related: Lolo Jones wants to make her mom proud at the 2012 London Games
Despite missing the mark in Athens, the cyclist went on to win many more events, including a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games. Victoria Pendleton will also compete this summer at the 2012 London Games, and it will be her last quest for an Olympic medal. She recently told Asian News International, "While I'm incredibly excited about my last Olympics, in all honesty I'm also quite looking forward to 8 August, when it's all over!"
While mom Pauline hopes to see her daughter achieve success in London, she admits she'll be happy when the Olympic journey is over and she can watch her daughter do some "normal" life things like getting married. Victoria Pendleton is engaged to her former coach, Scott Gardner, and they are scheduled to be married after the London Games. Says Pauline Pendleton: "When Victoria's not racing any more I will be absolutely delighted. I won't ever have to go through that thumping heart and head nearly exploding [feeling]. I shall be very pleased for her because she will have more of a normal life, all the things that she's put off over the past few years. If she was on the podium with gold, I will be ecstatic, relieved and probably I'll cry."
The Procter & Gamble video series, "Raising an Olympian," will run through the London Games and profiles athletes, their dedicated efforts to make it to Olympic games, and the mothers who had tremendous impacts on their lives. Check out Team Mom on Yahoo! Shine all summer for additional "Raising an Olympian" segments.
Also on Shine:
Raising an Olympian: Jordyn Wieber
Raising an Olympian: Lolo Jones
Raising an Olympian: Alicia Sacramone
Raising an Olympian: Henry Cejudo
Raising an Olympian: Diana Lopez
Raising an Olympian: Kortney Clemons
Raising an Olympian: Ryan Lochte
Raising an Olympian: Kerri Walsh-Jennings
Raising an Olympian: Shawn Johnson