While she lives in Stockport, Greater Manchester these days, Laura Trott will be forever synonymous with Cheshunt. Walk along Cadmore Lane and Newham Parade in the Hertfordshire town and you can expect to find golden boxes marking her double gold triumphs at London 2012 in the Team Pursuit and Omnium events. Laura was also awarded with the Freedom of the Borough of Broxbourne on October 18, 2012 and Cheshunt’s Grundy Park Leisure Centre has been renamed after her.
“I am very proud to come from Hertfordshire and the support I’ve got from my home town and county before and after the Olympics has been incredible,” she says.
Tottenham Hotspur too have long established connections with Cheshunt, having purchased the Pollards Sports Ground on Brookfield Lane there in the mid-1950s. We trained there until a move to Chase Lodge in Mill Hill in the 1980s. With thousands of our supporters living around the area and our specific connections to her home town, it is no surprise where Laura’s football loyalties lie.
“My mum and dad are Tottenham fans and so Spurs have always been my team,” confirms Laura, who was born in another Lilywhite stronghold of Harlow, Essex in 1992. “Funnily enough though, my sister (Emma Trott) is a big Arsenal supporter because my granddad is. I can remember when I was younger her telling me I couldn’t follow her and support Arsenal, so I was like ‘fine, I’ll be a Spurs fan’.”
Having attended her first game at White Hart Lane against Blackburn Rovers aged 12, Laura has always looked out for our results and gets along to games when her busy training and competing schedule allows her to.
“We often train or compete on a Saturday, so that instantly rules out getting to any games,” she laments. “I’ve only been to White Hart Lane about four or five times in recent years and I’d go more if I could. The club kindly invited me along after the Olympics, when some of the other Spurs-supporting medallists from the Games went. Sadly though, my schedule was absolutely manic and I couldn’t make it.”
With her older sister and fellow cyclist Emma supporting Arsenal, there is always particular interested in football in the Trott household when North London derbies come around.
“A really happy memory that springs to mind supporting Spurs was the derby match against Arsenal when we won at the Emirates back in 2010,” smiles Laura. “It had been such a long time since we had won away at Arsenal and I can remember the banter with my sister as we sat down to watch it in our living room. Being 2-0 down but then going on to win 3-2 was incredible and of course I couldn’t resist rubbing her nose it in a bit!”
Laura trains at the same facility in Stockport as partner and fellow cyclist Jason Kenny, who is from the North West of England originally. Despite being from one of England’s hotbeds of football clubs, Kenny isn’t as interested in the beautiful game as Laura.
“Jason doesn’t really have any footballing loyalties,” she confirms. “If anyone asks him who he supports, he says Bolton Wanderers, but that’s mainly because he’s from there rather than being a big football fan. We do love playing FIFA on the PlayStation though. I’m pretty much always Spurs or England as it would be tough to play as any other team!”
Given her sporting track record, we would certainly want Laura Trott competing for, not against us! This year has already seen her finish first in the team pursuit and runner-up in the Omnium at the UCI Tracking Cycling World Championships, matching her success at the same tournament in 2013. She has also won countless other domestic, European and world titles since she won her first senior event in 2010 and looks on course to star at the Olympic Games once again at Rio in 2016.
Two years on from London 2012, Laura says she is asked about her success on home soil “pretty much every day” and we couldn’t resist questioning her on that golden summer two years ago either!
“I just look back on 2012 as being like a whirlwind… it was absolutely crazy,” she says. “Looking back, I fancied us to win the Team Pursuit because it’s a timed event and we were looking good in the run up to the Olympics. But the Omnium triumph totally took me by surprise and it was just incredible. The whole experience was more than you could have dreamed about.”