Exclusive: Olympic champions Steve Redgrave and Kate Richardson-Walsh on why Rio will be 'bigger and better'

Julie Delahaye

Sir Steve Redgrave had won five Olympic gold medals by the time he decided to retire from rowing, so there's no denying he knows what it takes to be an Olympic champion. With the games kicking off in Rio de Janeiro later this year, Steve revealed which member of Team GB he is particularly excited to see competing.

"I want to be at the velodrome when Bradley Wiggins wins his next medal – hopefully, gold," he told HELLO! Online exclusively. "There's three other guys with him for that, and I see no reason why they shouldn't win gold."

CLICK TO VIEW GALLERY

><img alt=VIEW GALLERY

Steve Redgrave with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the 2012 London Olympics

Steve explained that the achievement would mark an impressive milestone for Bradley as it would make him "the most decorated Olympic with medals", before adding that the cyclist has been one of his favourite athletes "throughout the years".

With his own career having seen him break records, Steve revealed that the first gold medal is particularly special for any athlete. "If you had to pick one of the five, it would be the first one," he confessed. "Because you have this dream to become an Olympic champion and it's that dream becoming a reality."

Speaking about the realisation of winning a medal, he added: "Whatever words you say, it never quite sums it up of what it's actually like."

><img alt=VIEW GALLERY

Steve is supporting Team GB's 'Bring on the Great' campaign

Reprising his role as an ambassador for Team GB, which saw him meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the London 2012 games, Steve revealed that the velodrome is always one of his favourite events at the Olympics. "It's the atmosphere, the excitement," he admitted. "It's a really, really good sport to go and watch."

Meanwhile, training hard ahead of the Rio games is Kate Richardson-Walsh MBE, the captain of Great Britain's women's hockey team. Describing the London games as "incredible", Kate admitted she was even more excited for this year's event. "In Brazil I think it will be even bigger and event better," she told us.

However, only 16 of the squad of 31 players will be heading to the Brazilian city this year – Kate herself still doesn't know if she will be chosen – so the team has been upping their game. "Training is starting to really ramp up," she admitted. "Obviously, for us, it's four years in the making so we've been training twice a day, every day for the last few years – now it's really kind of a home straight."

><img alt=VIEW GALLERY

Kate with her teammates as they picked up their medals in 2012

She added: "It's exciting, it's nerve-wracking and it's all of those kind of emotions and stresses all in one."

Even if she doesn't make the squad, Kate revealed she's determined to head to Rio to cheer on her teammates and the other British athletes who will be competing.

"If I can afford to go, if I'm not selected I will get out there because, one, it's going to be an amazing Olympics and two, it's going to be just two weeks of crazy sport, high energy, party atmosphere in Brazil," she explained.

><img alt=VIEW GALLERY

Kate is also supporting the 'Bring on the Great' campaign

In London, the women's hockey team picked up the bronze medal following a gruelling tournament. "It was the most surreal, complete joy, jubilation relief," she said, describing the moment the team realised they had won. "Every emotion when the final whistle went, to sitting in the changing room just by myself having a few moments".

She added: "Then to be standing on the podium, then it all sunk in. You can just see – I have a lovely bit of video that I will cherish forever, just getting up onto the podium and standing there looking at this medal. It was like every Christmas coming at once. All those hard hours of training in the cold, in the rain and everything else were worth it for that moment."

Support Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games by joining the Official Team GB fan club as part of the British Olympic Association's 'Bring on the Great' campaign. For more information head to teamgb.com

More on: