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Sally Gunnell, GB Olympic Gold Medallist, MBE, OBE and Ride the Night 2020 participant

An interview with Olympic Gold Medallist, Sally Gunnell

We’re absolutely delighted to announce that the amazing Olympic Gold Medallist, Sally Gunnell, is joining us for Women V Cancer Ride the Night 2020!

On Saturday 23rd May 2020, Sally will join over a thousand women cycling through London at night in support of the three very important Women V Cancer charities, Breast Cancer Now, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

As an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire), a TV personality and the only female British winner of Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth titles, Sally is a world-famous role model. She’s a shining inspiration to countless athletes and non-athletes alike throughout the UK and we’ve jumped at our chance to interview her!

Here, Sally spills the beans on what it’s like to be Sally Gunnell and shares her reasons for Riding the Night in 2020.

What inspired you to take part in Ride the Night?

I like to set myself goals for the year ahead, so it keeps me motivated to maintain my fitness levels and when I can link my goals to good causes, I get to help make a difference for others too. I was especially attracted to Ride the Night, as it’s for women and completed at night. It’ll be my first night bike ride!

Are you a regular cyclist?

Yes, I have been cycling regularly for a few years now and it’s a great way to keep fit with friends.

What is a typical day in the life for Sally Gunnell?

I’m afraid it’s nothing very exciting. I like to start my day with some kind of exercise, whether that be a run, bike ride or big dog walk. It really sets me up for the day ahead. Then it’s on to doing some work, picking up kids from school a little later etc. Pretty much like everyone else, trying to juggle one’s commitments.

Being a sports champion, a mother, an MBE, an OBE, and a published author, you’re a huge role model for young women around the world, seeking success not just in sport but in all areas of life. What advice would you give them?

Be yourself! Love yourself. Don’t listen to those inner negative voices. Set yourself goals. They don’t have to be big ones. It’s a great way to give yourself direction and a sense of achievement when you reach your goals!

You’ve said that your success is down to a firm grip over your own mind and a lot of very hard graft – but how do you hone that graft? What are your tips to overcome life’s hurdles and keep a strong mind during/after a set back?

Squash those negative thoughts. Learn from the difficult times or mistakes. Don’t let them be for nothing. Have a plan and set goals, visualising what your goals will feel like once you achieve them! It’ll help you stay motivated.

What does your Olympic win mean to you?

At the time, winning Olympic gold medal was my ultimate goal. The feeling was amazing and difficult to put into words - seeing results for all the hard work and sacrifices I’d made. Now, the sense of achievement never goes away, but I can reflect back on the lessons I have learned from that journey that apply to my life now, whether that is in business or my personal life.

What do your three sons think of Mum’s Olympic win?

To them, I’m just Mum who can run faster than me! Deep down, I think they are proud.... Maybe this is a question for them! :-)

Thank you so much to Sally for joining our cause. We are so thrilled to have such a fantastic female role model support the event. Of course, Sally isn’t the only role model Riding the Night. Every single one of our participants is! All the women in our Women V Cancer community shine with such strength and positivity, cycling even through loss and illness, that they never fail to inspire us.

What is Women V Cancer Ride the Night?

Over the last six years, thousands of inspiring women have cycled through London and as of 2019, Edinburgh, at night and raised over £6 million for Breast Cancer Now (formerly known as Breast Cancer Care), Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action.
Our challenges have also raised awareness of the charities, encouraged women to exercise and get fit and they have also formed lifelong friendships.

In 2020, we have not one but two distances (50km and 100km) to choose from in both London and Edinburgh - and we hope to get even more women on their bikes for Women V Cancer. We aim to raise another awesome £1.5 million for our charities and make an even bigger impact in the battle against women's cancers.

Find out more and register for Women V Cancer Ride the Night Edinburgh and London on the challenge web pages.

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