Mhairi Spence made her Olympic debut at London 2012 having achieved the qualifying standard for Beijing 2008 only to miss out to Heather Fell and Katy Livingston.
She did travel to China though as part of the British Olympic Association’s Ambition Programme and effectively booked her place at London 2012 with World Championship gold in May.
Spence became only the third British woman to win World Championship gold, Steph Cook, who inspired her to take up the sport, in 2001, and Wendy Norman, in 1982, the other two.
She also won silver at the opening World Cup event of 2012 in America – adding to the two medals she won during the 2011 season to underline her status as British number one. She finished fifth at the World Cup Final in 2011, which acted as the Olympic test event.
Spence began swimming at just two years old and riding at three. When she was eight, she competed in her first tetrathlon, which involves swimming and riding as well as running and shooting.
Nicknamed ‘Fencey Spencey’, she has a coach education and sports development degree from the University of Bath and can play the violin while her mother, Evelyn, is a kilt maker.