BIOGRAPHY & ACHIEVEMENTS

Rebecca is a very unique athlete. Already an Olympic silver medallist and World Champion in the sport of rowing, Rebecca took up cycling with the aim of achieving the same elite standard. In a rapid rise through the ranks in track cycling she shattered British records and became double World Champion and Olympic Champion all within two and a half years in the sport. This made her the first British women and only the second woman in history to medal in two different summer Olympic sports.  She is one of only two women to have ever won Olympic medals in two different sports (Rowing, Athens 2004 and Cycling, Beijing 2008), and the only Briton, male or female to do so.

Rebecca started rowing aged 17 at Kingston Rowing Club, and within eight months had progressed from being a novice to being in the GB Juniors Squad. Within three years she had become U23 World Champion.  In 2001 Rebecca gained her first senior vest when she was selected in the quadruple sculls for the World Championships where they made the final.  2002 and 2003 also saw credible performances in World Championship finals, but it was 2004 that would prove to be Rebecca’s breakthrough year.

After a year of ranking in the top two in every domestic trial and assessment, Rebecca was selected into the quadruple scull again, the top ranked sculling boat. She had a very successful international racing season collecting two World Cup gold medals and a silver, and winning the World Cup Series overall.  Her first major medal win was then achieved at the Olympic Games in Athens when Rebecca’s crew took a silver medal, just behind the more senior and vastly more experienced German crew.


2005 was the start of a new Olympiad and saw the start of a new campaign for Olympic Gold. Rebecca was part of a newly formed quad combination and for the second year running they won the overall World Cup Series. The final of the World Championships was a re-run of the 2004 Olympic final. Again the two favourites, Great Britain and Germany were coming head to head, but this time however the result was reversed, Great Britain winning the final by 0.3 seconds, and Rebecca collecting her first World Championship title.

However, during the 2005 season Rebecca got injured and during her time out rehabbing from the injury she decided it was time to start moving onto something new.  It was at this point she had contact with British Cycling, and following a series of tests was told she had the potential to succeed at the highest level in cycling.  In April 2006 Rebecca started the second part of her amazing career training as a cyclist with the aim of participating in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Five months into it Rebecca competed in her first major competition, the British Time Trial Championships. Having only practiced a handful of time trials, she shocked both herself and the cycling world by winning. In her first ever cycling race she had become British Champion!

In December 2006 and now settled into her targeted Olympic discipline of track cycling, Rebecca won a silver medal in the Individual Pursuit at the World Cup in Moscow, her international cycling debut. Rebecca’s rapid rise up the world cycling ranks continued in 2007 when she won her first Cycling World Championship medal with silver in the Individual Pursuit. The following year, at the 2008 World Championships held in Manchester, she won Gold in both the Individual and Team Pursuit events, just two years after she had started cycling!

The season then culminated in the Beijing Olympic Games where Rebecca won gold in the velodrome, becoming Olympic Champion in the Individual Pursuit.  In addition to this she also finished in 11th place in the Points Race, her first ever attempt at competing in that track cycling event.

Rebecca was keen to build on her Beijing Olympic performance and set her sights high, targeting two gold medals at the London Olympics. Unfortunately she was hit with huge disappointment as both the Individual Pursuit and Points Race were cut from the Olympic programme after a radical overhaul of events by the International Cycling Federation.  She was determined to battle on and reinvent herself as a road Time Trial rider, only to be met with more disappointment as more changes were introduced.  This time changes to the qualification criteria for the road events saw an end to her Time Trial ambitions.

Her final Olympic opportunity meant a return to the track, however after a lengthy period of inconsistency due to the event changes, and after a series of unfortunate setbacks at crucial times, Rebecca made the difficult decision to step down from the Olympic team because she knew she was no longer on a pathway that would see her achieve Olympic success.

Achievements

2008

Cycling

  • Olympic Champion – 3km Individual Pursuit

  • World Champion – 3km Individual Pursuit

  • World Champion – Womens Team Pursuit

2007

Cycling

  • Silver Medal World Track Championships – 3km Individual Pursuit

  • British Champion – 3km Individual Pursuit

2006

Cycling

  • British Time Trial Champion

2005

Rowing

  • World Champion – Womens Quad Sculls

  • Overall World Cup Winner – Womens Quad Sculls​

2004

Rowing

  • Olympic Silver Medallist – Womens Quad Sculls

  • Overall World Cup Winner – Womens Quad Sculls

  • Princess Grace Challenge Cup – Henley Royal Regatta

2003

Rowing

  • 4th Place World Championships

  • World Cup Silver Medallist

2002

Rowing

  • 5th Place World Championship

  • World Cup Silver Medallist

  • U23 British Indoor Rowing Champion

2001

Rowing

  • 5th Place World Championship

  • World Cup Silver Medallist

  • U23 British Indoor Rowing Champion

2000

Rowing

  • U23 World Champion

  • 4th Place World University Rowing Championships

  • National Champion – Rowing

Achievements

2008

Cycling

  • Olympic Champion – 3km Individual Pursuit

  • World Champion – 3km Individual Pursuit

  • World Champion – Womens Team Pursuit

2007

Cycling

  • Silver Medal World Track Championships – 3km Individual Pursuit

  • British Champion – 3km Individual Pursuit

2006

Cycling

  • British Time Trial Champion

2005

Rowing

  • World Champion – Womens Quad Sculls

  • Overall World Cup Winner – Womens Quad Sculls​

2004

Rowing

  • Olympic Silver Medallist – Womens Quad Sculls

  • Overall World Cup Winner – Womens Quad Sculls

  • Princess Grace Challenge Cup – Henley Royal Regatta

2003

Rowing

  • 4th Place World Championships

  • World Cup Silver Medallist

2002

Rowing

  • 5th Place World Championship

  • World Cup Silver Medallist

  • U23 British Indoor Rowing Champion

2001

Rowing

  • 5th Place World Championship

  • World Cup Silver Medallist

  • U23 British Indoor Rowing Champion

2000

Rowing

  • U23 World Champion

  • 4th Place World University Rowing Championships

  • National Champion – Rowing