Houvenaghel eyes Olympic glory

26 March 2012 / 13:25

The dental surgery awaits aspiring Olympic champion Wendy Houvenaghel after the London Games.

But before returning to her chosen career, Houvenaghel is determined to experience the elation of victory in the three-woman, three-kilometre team pursuit in the capital in August.

Houvenaghel has made numerous sacrifices in her bid for gold and to go one better than in Beijing, when she claimed silver behind team-mate Rebecca Romero in the 3km individual pursuit - an event in which she has also finished second in the world (twice) and the Commonwealth.

Events at the London velodrome are her primary focus, but the Northern Irishwoman plans to resume pulling teeth post-Games.

"There's a lot I need to think about the future, but at the moment I can only think about the next few weeks and months and the Olympic Games," Houvenaghel said.

"I'd imagine at some point in time I'll pick up my dentist drill again and resume that career. I have been keeping up to date and I will look forward to getting back to that again, just when remains to be seen."

While changes to the Olympic programme, including the removal of the individual pursuit, contributed to Romero's retirement, Houvenaghel redoubled her efforts in search of gold.

Houvenaghel has been a full-time athlete for six years and at 37, she is 14 years older than the next oldest rider in the four-woman squad who race the team pursuit - Joanna Rowsell is 23, Dani King 21 and Laura Trott will turn 20 next month.

Their presence has reinvigorated Houvenaghel, who last October moved to Manchester for final preparations for London, leaving husband Ian at home in Cornwall.

Houvenaghel added: "I'm totally committed to attempt to win the gold medal with my team-mates in August and there are many sacrifices I've had to make along the way. Now my focus is better than ever before and I'm excited about making the most of the next few months."