Wendy Houvenaghel will forgive me for having to look up the spelling of her name on Wikipedia. She is possibly not a household name. And less likely to be one now. She dominated the local news yesterday and has kinda put a stick in the wheels (pun intended) of the successful British Cycling Team.
Formerly Wendy McLean she comes from Upperlands in County “Londonderry” and is now 37 years old. She has lived in Britain since graduating as a dentist, marrying and becoming a Squadron Leader (dentist) in the British Royal Air Force. Impressive “British” credentials. She never cycled competitively until she was in her thirties and it turned out she was very good at it. She won silver medal in the Individual Pursuit in the Olympic Games of 2008.
Sadly for her, this discipline was dropped for the 2012 Games but as a member of the successful Team Pursuit squad, she could reasonably expect to be a Gold Medal winner in London and was selected to the four woman squad (three to ride) for the Games. She was not selected in the preliminary heats and it is hard to argue with her non-selection for the Final as the three selected riders won Gold in World Record time.
In her version of events any combination of three riders would have won the event in world record time. Which is fair enough except for the counter claim that the three riders actually selected DID win the event in world record time.
Wendy claims she was treated badly, given a nod and a wink she would be in the Final line-up. That her conversations with coaches were brusque to say the least.
There is however the fact that she left the Velodrome and did not watch her team mates go for Gold. And she claims none of her team-mates has contacted her in the 24 hours after their vicory. I know that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and all that……but the raction of the British team suggests than maybe…..just maybe…….she wasnt a team player.
Of course this has interested BBCNI with their silly Team Great Britain and Northern Ireland nonsense. They cant really go with any story that Team GB have treated a Norn Iron person badly as that would undermine their feel-good unionist narrative.