Martin Gough |

‘My dream has always been to race the single at the Olympics – I want to be on that podium’

Preparing for her third Olympic Games, Vicky Thornley has her eyes on becoming Britain’s first female medallist in the single scull, establishing a legacy in that boat for the future. Only then, she tells Martin Gough, will she start thinking about what happens next in life

Vicky Thornley was one of a new breed when she came into rowing. As one of the early members of the World Class Start programme, she took up the sport 14 years ago knowing she had the potential to win an Olympic medal.

Now she hopes to break new ground by becoming the first British woman to win an Olympic medal in the single scull, an event in which Great Britain has not even fielded an entry the last 21 years.

From Olympic champions Harry Blackstaffe, Wally Kinnear and Jack Beresford at the start of the last century to bronze medallist Alan Campbell in 2012, GB has a history of making the podium in the men’s single sculls but only twice has a British woman appeared on her own in an Olympic regatta.

Thornley, who has an Olympic silver in the double scull from Rio already in her collection, wants to change that, looking back to her first days in the sport when she learnt to scull in Bath.


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