Laura Trott, who won team pursuit and omnium gold medals in Rio just as she had done in London four years ago, has defended her sister Emma who has come under fire on social media for what some social media users saw as a “bitter” and “jealous” TV appearance following the Team GB star’s record-breaking success.
Former professional cyclist Emma appeared yesterday on ITV’s Good Morning Britain by video link from New Zealand, where she lives with her partner, the reigning world and Commonwealth time trial champion Linda Villumsen, a former team mate of Laura’s at Wiggle Honda.
Four years ago, Emma, 26, was trackside at London 2012 as her younger sister, now 24, won the first two of her Olympic gold medals.
This time around, she stayed at home in New Zealand and revealed she almost missed the moment Laura made history as she won the omnium to move back ahead of dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin as Great Britain’s most successful ever female Olympian with four gold medals.
"I was working, so I'm self-employed, so if I don't work then I don't make no money" Emma, who works as a personal trainer, told the TV show.
"I turned up to one house and he just looked at me and said 'Emma, it's on the TV'. I had a few tears in my eyes, which was a little bit embarrassing when you're in front of a client."
The ex-Boels Dolmans rider also said: “Laura's not worked any harder than anybody else, everyone works hard to get to the level in which them 24 riders were atshe said.
"But it was the hours of sacrifice, not just that we made from not going to school discos or going out with friends or the sacrifices that mum and dad made for us.
"The amount of times that Laura kicked up a fuss on hills because dad and I were dropping her [and said] "if you don't slow down I'm going to ring mum, she can come and pick me up".
What some people on Twitter saw as her lack of enthusiasm led to accusations of her being “jealous” of her sister and “bitter” of her success.
She was also criticised for a tweet in which she described Laura as the "smaller uglier one of the family."
In many families, though perhaps not those in which the people complaining on Twitter come from, that comes across more as teasing between siblings, and certainly both there and on Facebook Emma has been very supportive.
Writing on the same social network, Laura defended her sister: “Reading some nasty messages re my sister this morning. Bitter, Jealous? If only you people knew! She is one of my biggest supporters.
“To me I am just her sister! I am not a 'hero' a 'celebrity'. She’s been there for me through thick and thin!! She was my idol growing up.
“Yes she was working while I raced! I'm sure a lot of people who care about me were? I love my sister to the moon, so all u nasty people #shh.”
She added: “I love you @EmmaTrott1989 that's all that matters right X.”
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