The sporting powerhouse couple of Laura and Jason Kenny may have just finished cycling with a group of strangers in the City of London’s Bloomberg Arcade to help produce green energy for after-school clubs, but the duo have their sights set on the Commonwealth Games.
Tokyo couldn’t have come as more of a surprise for Laura, who yesterday was still recovering from a bout of food poisoning obtained through some dodgy prawns. “In January 2020 I thought ‘there’s not a chance I am going to the Olympics here’,” said Laura Kenny, who became the first British female to win gold at three consecutive Olympic games. “I had a broken arm, a broken shoulder, and a child who won’t even look at me because I’ve come home with another black eye. He was terrified.
“Obviously Covid-19 then struck and you get to the end of 2021 and all of a sudden I won an Olympic gold medal. It just seems insane.”
The Kennys’ share the goal of competing at next year’s Commonwealth Games, to be held in Birmingham – though the track cycling will be in London – but Jason’s participation at the event isn’t nailed on.
“I’ve just started training now and I will see what happens,” said Jason Kenny, who won his seventh gold on the final day of Tokyo 2020. “I had bad knees in the last [Olympic] cycle and I’ve really struggled.
“I am trying to get to a point where I am happy and can train pain free, and basically if I can’t get to that point then I won’t even bother trying.
“I’m giving myself to the New Year to see so maybe the Commonwealth’s will be a shout.”
2021: Year of supermum Laura
“It really has been an amazing year. To do it all [win Olympic gold and be nominated on multiple occasions for sportswoman of the year] while being a mum, I think it’s just been incredible,” said Laura.
“There was a time where I’d written my career off and it was a lot harder coming back than I ever thought.”
Future of cycling
Cycling’s governing body (UCI) has this year launched a Champions League of cycling. The first round took place in Mallorca with Round 2 taking place next week in Lithuania before a London double-header.
“It’s nice to see something new. A big investment from the top and the UCI getting behind it will make it special,” continued Jason, nine time Olympic medalist. “Hopefully it will grow into something special and become well established.”
On the prospect of cycling unearthing personalities in the same way Drive to Survive has done for Formula 1, Laura Kenny, who is part of the media set-up in London, said: “I am going to try and do a Martin Brundle in London and recreate the pit walk.
“With 20 riders returning for each event, you can see their personalities and get to know them.
“I wasn’t really that into F1 and then I watched the documentary and suddenly I was like ‘this is a soap’.
“All of a sudden it brings in people like me who didn’t watch it and now I understand the battles,” Laura continued.
“Jason’s watched F1 anyway but now we’re both watching it.”
Lean, green cycling machine
The duo spoke at the PWR Ride event hosted by Bloomberg yesterday, whereby cyclists would pedal to power local after-school clubs. The event, which continues today, aims to amass 32kWh of energy.