Just call them the King and Queen of cycling.
Team Great Britain’s Laura Trott, 24, and Jason Kenny, 28 – whose kiss on Tuesday after a triumphant evening lit up Rio’s velodrome – have nabbed a combined five gold medals in the 2016 Games (two for her and three for him).
“I’m just so happy that it all came together,” Trott – who along with fiancé Kenny earned a combined five medals at previous Games as well – said amid tears of joy. “I can’t thank everyone at home enough.”
Kate, her husband Prince William and brother-in-law Prince Harry filmed a good luck message to the team and have been following the events closely, with their office at Kensington Palace tweeting congratulations along the way.
Kate was given a list of those athletes who have been supported by SportsAid – some 238 members (or 65 percent) of the 366-strong Team GB.
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At 15, Trott was awarded at least $650 from the charity after being nominated by British Cycling for her promise in the sport. “She has realized it, which is terrific,” Tim Lawler, chief executive of the charity, tells PEOPLE.
She used the money to buy some new cycling shoes. “Often that is the way – it brings a bit of independence to the athlete, and they don’t need to ask their parents for kit or travelling money,” Lawler adds. “It is a glue, or enabler, if you like.”
The charity, now in its 40th anniversary year, was given a celebratory dinner at Kensington Palace in June hosted by Kate, and she has been showing her support at public events. “What she gives is very attentive, curious, informed genuinely passionate interest,” says Lawler.
For Trott and Kenny – who first nabbed the spotlight when they were spotted kissing close to David Beckham while watching beach volleyball at the 2012 Games – a different kind of celebration awaits: They are set to wed next month.
And Trott joked that they will be bringing a new generation to cycling, tweeting, “Arghhhh!!!!!! I love him to bits!! Our kids have to get some of these genes right?!”