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British sports stars discuss their idols

British sports stars discuss their idols
british-sports-stars-discuss-their-idols
Britain's top sportswomen have the medals to Darren Sproles Authentic Jersey show for their talent and dedication. But who were the inspirational people they looked up to in their fledgling careers? The inaugural Women's Sport Week, which runs from 1-7 June, aims to celebrate, raise awareness and increase the profile of women's sport. BBC Sport kicks off the week by asking some of Britain's highest-profile sports women about their sporting idols growing up. The world, Olympic and European skeleton champion, 26, said: "I can remember so clearly watching Denise Lewis during the 2000 Olympics. She competed in the heptathlon, which was the event I competed in when I was younger, and I was glued to the TV throughout the Sydney Games. "Denise had this awesome competition suit during the javelin with one arm exposed. She looked so majestic, so strong and powerful - you knew she was at the top of her game and it was so inspiring to watch." The 1972 Munich Olympics pentathlon gold medallist, 75, said: "There was a world-record holder in the high jump. She is Thelma Hopkins and she went on to win a long jump silver medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, and Fanny Blankers-Koen. She was the Dutch four-time gold medallist at the 1948 Olympics and we became great friends because she became a team manager of the Dutch team and she was my inspiration really. She was very athletic, she was a mother with two children, she did what Hakeem Nicks Womens Jersey would have been the pentathlon in those days and won gold medals in three races, four races including the relay, and it made her a star in her own country." The 2012 Paralympics triple gold medallist, 27, said: "When I was younger Tanni Grey-Thompson [winner of 16 Paralympic medals] really inspired me. "Not only was she a fantastic athlete but she was an amazing role model because she competed at a time when the Paralympics were virtually unheard of and she really brought disability sport into the mainstream. I knew that I wanted to be exactly like her. "So when I found that I could do Paralympic dressage and actually excel at it I knew my dream could come true." The Olympic boxing champion, 32, said: " Muhammad Ali inspired me and I'd have to say my mum as well. Even though she's not really a big sportsperson, she was always there to motivate me through the highs and the lows so I'd definitely say she's a role model for me too. "Your role model isn't always a sports person or somebody famous - it can just be a genuine normal person. I guess I'm just a normal person as well. I think you just see the hard work and what they do to achieve whatever their goal is, it's what spurs you on and motivates you." The Beijing Olympics road race champion, 32, said: " Robert Millar inspired me and that was because I'd watch him race on TV in the Tour de France and he was the only British rider. Seeing him attack in the mountains again and again was inspirational and I wanted to be a climber, thanks to him. "When I started racing I got to meet Sally Hodge http://www.buccaneersnflofficialauthentic.com/jonathan-casillas-jersey_c-303.html and Louise Jones, two cyclists from south Wales who won medals internationally. "It was great chatting with them and finding out that it's all about the hard work and getting out there and doing the training that was going to make you successful. That was very reassuring and definitely appealed to my work ethic. If Sally and Louise can achieve success, so can I." The former England women's football captain, 33, said: "When I was playing in the girls' little league, Marieanne Spacey presented me with my first ever winner's medal. "I remember her turning up in her Arsenal tracksuit and thinking 'I want to be like her' and four years later I was playing in the same team as her. "She knew I looked up to her. She was a fantastic player and one of the very best I'd seen at the time. We used to share a lot of car journeys to Arsenal so I got to know her very well. "The game has changed a lot but Marieanne was one of those players who got the ball rolling and put women's football on the map." The double Olympic gold medallist, 23, said: "I will never ever forget when Dame Kelly Holmes crossed the finish line at the Athens Olympics and couldn't believe that she'd won her second gold. I guess in a way I'm following in her footsteps, which is nice, because I really did idolise her at the time. "The more women's role models we have the better. I was always http://www.nfl49ersofficialauthentic.com/Anthony-Davis-Jersey quite sporty so was going to be involved in sport. "But for some young girls who are struggling, and don't know whether to do it or not, to have people like Kelly Holmes, myself, Vicky Pendleton out there, it's so easy to feel like you can be part of their journey."

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