NZ Herald Olympics Banner

Rio Olympics: Britain's golden couple have won five gold medals in Rio

By Claire Duffin, David Williams

Great Britain cyclists Laura Trott and Jason Kenny have won five gold medals in Rio. photo / AP
Great Britain cyclists Laura Trott and Jason Kenny have won five gold medals in Rio. photo / AP

Their glittering haul of Olympic medals makes them equals on the track.

But off the track it is a very different story for British cycling's golden couple Jason Kenny and Laura Trott, at least when it comes to money.

Charismatic Trott seems to have sponsors falling over themselves to back her. In contrast her fiance - astonishingly for such a successful sportsman - does not have a sponsor and relies on his annual lottery funding as an elite athlete.

But while money has caused a rift in many a relationship, it does not seem to worry the two brilliant athletes. They already live together happily in Manchester with their two dogs and are planning to marry next year.

The couple will leave Rio with five gold medals between them to add to the five they won at the London Games.

Kenny, 28, won the keirin final today to go with the individual sprint gold on Monday and the team sprint title last week. He also won gold and silver in Beijing and two golds at London 2012.

Trott, 24, who came to Rio with two golds from London, won the team pursuit on Saunday to become the first British woman to win three Olympic golds.

She backed that up with her fourth gold after victory in the women's Omnium today, an event she dominated from start to finish.

While Kenny may have more gold medals, it is smiling Miss Trott with her long blonde plaits whose star shines brightest.

No one would have predicted such a brilliant career for the young girl from Hertfordshire who was born four weeks prematurely with a collapsed lung and spent her first six weeks in intensive care.

She grew up with her mother, Glenda, a teaching assistant, and father, Adrian, an accountant, in a semi in Cheshunt. As a toddler, she had a permanent chest infection and at six she was diagnosed with asthma.

Her mother's desire to lose weight led the whole family to take up cycling, and Miss Trott's path was set.

In the early days there wasn't much money about - she received £100 a month from UK Sport. After 2012, however, everything changed.

She is now sponsored by insurance company Prudential and sportswear firm Adidas, has her own range of bikes on sale at Halfords and has promoted and thanked a number of companies on social media for gifts and sponsorship.

One picture showed her in front of a Jaguar saying: "Oh hey there new car! Thanks @JaguarUK for the swap."

Before Rio she was photographed in a Stella McCartney gown on a DFS Britannia sofa.

She thanked the furniture company for sending her cushions deocorated with pictures of dogs and has also thanked Use Exposure online for supplying her with lights for her bike, and bag company Grafea for giving her a leather rucksack. She is also a brand ambassador for Ohso chocolate.

As an elite athlete, Bolton-born Kenny would earn a maximum of £65,000 a year. But so far he has failed to attract the sponsorship that comes his fiancee's way so easily.

"I would love to get paid more but if people don't want to sponsor me that's the way it is," he said before the Rio Games. "We are in competition with all these pretty athletes, your Tom Daleys and people like that who I can never compete with from a marketing point of view."

That may change after his Rio exploits. Following today's success in the keirin, his Olympic gold tally is now six and he is tipped to become Britain's third cycling knight after Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins.

Both Kenny and Trott are young enough to compete in the next two games. And though marriage may be on the horizon, Trott has said she wants to wait until after her cycling career is over to have children.

The idea of securing the bragging rights in her own house by winning most medals is sure to appeal to her as well.

Trott slept with her gold medal on Saturday night then posted a selfie of it, writing: "Wakes up, checks under the pillow... This really did happen last night."

- Daily Mail

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 29 Sep 2016 21:11:00 Processing Time: 519ms