Olympic darling Laura Trott becomes front page news
Even Beckham in the shade as new queen of cycling is caught kissing at beach volleyball
LAURA TROTT, the new darling of the Olympics, is finding out what it is like to suddenly become famous after pictures of her kissing fellow gold-medal cyclist Jason Kenny were splashed across the front pages of the papers this morning.
The bubbly 20-year-old, who won gold in the women's pursuit and omnium events at the velodrome, has rocketed to stardom thanks to her performances on the bike and engaging persona off it.
Last night she sat alongside the likes of Prince Harry and David Beckham at the final of the women's beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade. But despite their presence, not to mention that of four bikini-clad volleyball players, the photographers lenses were all focused on Trott.
But, as newcomers to the fame game, Trott and Kenny may not have realised they were the centre of attention. When excited reporters approached them after the event the Sun reported: "Laura suddenly looked sheepish and the pair stopped holding hands."
That has not stopped the media from breathlessly speculating on the couple's prospects. Even The Times got involved and reported that Trott had been dating another cyclist called Sam Harrison. "She is understood to have broken up with Harrison just before the Olympics," it informed its readers.
The sudden interest in her private life is one of the things Trott may have to get used to. The Daily Mail has already got its teeth into the youngster, it somewhat condescendingly dubbed her the "little miracle girl" of the velodrome this week and published a gushing account of her upbringing and the health problems she faced as a child.
And there is no doubt that she is a popular young woman. A look at website Google Trends shows that Laura Trott has been a more popular search term than David Beckham over the last few days.
Earlier this week The Independent noted that Trott was already being followed by "phalanx of autograph hunters and cameras" everywhere she went.
"The diminutive blonde had become one of the totems of the host nation's stellar success and, just as she hunts down opponents on the race track, she was the quarry of television interviewers and fans across the Olympic Park," it said.
The paper also reported that Trott's "Brunhilde-style pigtails" could become the next fashion trend. She has previous form in the style stakes, and can be credited with kick starting the fashion for elaborate Union Flag nail varnish.
Yet, although the youngster from Cheshunt must learn to deal with the pressures of fame - at least until the football season is in full swing - there will be no immediate financial reward for the cyclist, according to the Independent.
Other stars of the Games, like Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis, can expect huge windfalls, while it has been claimed Bradley Wiggins' annus mirabilis could earn him as much as £20m. But Robert Harwood-Matthews, president of advertising and marketing agency TBWA\UK, told the paper: "She's not going to become a millionaire overnight, or even probably in the next few years. She has to look long term for the financial rewards."