Rebecca Romero: The Inside Track
Inside Track

Rebecca Romero: The Inside Track

11 March 2015 / 16:37

Rebecca Romero is the only British athlete to have ever won two Olympic medals in two different summer sports. But how did the Yellow Pages play a role in her Olympic success and how big a Neil Diamond fan is she? Find out this, and more, in The Insidre Track...

My childhood hero growing up was Jonathan Edwards. If there was anyone I wanted to emulate as an athlete it was him. The way he conducted and presented himself, and ultimately the way he competed and broke records. He always seemed to get the best out of himself and I loved watching him compete.

I actually ended up in rowing because of the Yellow Pages. I moved from Surrey to Twickenham and I wanted to get involved in a sport on the river so I opened up the Yellow Pages and saw a 50/50 choice between canoeing and rowing. I picked the latter and went from there.

My favourite Olympic moment would have to come down to the coxless four race in Sydney when Steve Redgrave won his fifth gold medal. Not only was it an incredible achievement by Steve but the race itself was so close and came down to just a few inches. I was up with everyone else in the early hours completely gripped by it all.

Debbie Flood is my best mate in sport. We both started around the same time as juniors aged 17 and raced together for years leading up to being crewmates at the Athens 2004 Games and winning a silver medal as part of the quad sculls.

It sounds bizarre but I’m not really a sports fan and don’t have any teams I support. I liked competing as an athlete but that’s about it. Now I’m not involved in that world any more I find it hard to even follow rowing and cycling. When people ask me how the team’s getting on I never know the answers.

I think I’ve used up all my competitive energy up already. I went from being an Olympian straight into Ironman training but then after a couple of those races I haven’t done anything since. My career took over a lot of my time and four months ago I gave birth to my little boy Elliott - so he takes up a lot of my time these days.

I was never superstitious. I would go out of my way to make sure that I wasn’t because I couldn’t have the outcome of a race dependant on something so trivial as a piece of music or the order you put your kit on. I tried to take out as many variables that could affect the race as possible.

My ideal meal would be a full on spread for breakfast. I love breakfasts so I start with freshly squeezed orange juice and pastries followed by healthy cereal with fruit and yoghurt. I could eat that all day every day. I could stretch to a good fry up too if there was room – maybe even pancakes and syrup too.

I’ve got a terrible memory. I’ll watch a film at the cinema and then again on DVD and not realise I’ve seen it before until the last 10 minutes. It’ll always entertain me again though because I just won’t know that I’m covering old ground.  I can’t even recall a recent example because my memory is that bad!

I’ve got a pretty wide interest in music but I will admit to being a big Neil Diamond fan. I went to see him in concert a while ago and loved it. Sweet Caroline is just a classic. Back when I was training I used Muse and Survivor a lot to help keep me going.