OLYMPIAN Vicky Thornley's family will be cheering her on from home as she goes for gold in the rowing in Tokyo tomorrow.

St Asaph-born Vicky lived in Colwyn Bay until the age of 11, when her family moved to Holt, Wrexham

Now, 33, Vicky will be taking part in the women's single sculls.

This is her third consecutive Olympics, having won silver in the women's double sculls with Dame Katherine Grainger at Rio in 2016.

She is seeded sixth in the UK and is the first British woman to qualify for single sculls in the Olympics since Alison Mowbray at Sydney 2000.

Her proud father Andrew Thornley said that the family were very excited to be able to watch her compete, albeit through a TV screen this time round due to strict Covid restrictions.

Rhyl Journal: Vicky Thornley Vicky Thornley

Vicky, a former equestrian rider and model, will compete in the first heats at Tokyo, rowing at the Sea Forest Waterway venue on the city's waterfront from tomorrow. Women's single sculls events go right through from tomorrow until Friday July 30, when the final takes place.

Early start

Vicky is one of the 45-strong British rowing team who have been in a training camp in Italy prior to flying out to Tokyo. They are now based in the Olympic village, where Covid restrictions mean they have to keep themselves to themselves and even have their own areas to eat.

Her family will be setting their alarms for an early start to catch her races from the UK, with the first women's single scull heat. Vicky will be racing in heat four, starting at 10am, which is 2am UK time.

The races cover a distance of 2km and they last around seven and a half minutes.


Vicky's dad Andrew, who now lives in Tattenhall, Cheshire, said that he and Vicky's mum Gina had spoken to her yesterday and she was feeling confident and excited and keen to get stuck in.

He said she was working hard to prepare for her races, getting up at 4am to warm up and practice.

Andrew added: "We are very proud. She's gone through an awful lot to get to this point. I spoke to her yesterday and she is feeling good.

"It's very hot out there. It''s about 30 degrees but I think it feels hotter.

"She's looking forward to getting racing now because she's been away from home for seven weeks.

"She is very competitive and she wants to get stuck in."

Bizarre experience

Andrew, who rows with the Kings School parents' rowing club in Chester, added that this Olympics was a completely different experience for them all as a family.

He said: "She's there in Tokyo and there are no spectators allowed which is a really bizarre experience for her.

"We went with her to the Olympics in London and Rio. and we have followed her around the world and since Covid we haven't been able to. It will be strange watching from the other side of the world.

"As a family we will be setting our alarms and watching from our homes.

“Vicky will be practising and training now. They race tomorrow (Friday) and then there’s the quarter finals on Monday and then the semi finals on Wednesday, with the final on Friday, July 30.”

Viewers in the UK will be able to watch Vicky Thornley compete in the women's rowing via BBC1 and BBC2, iPlayer and the BBC Red Button.