Inside United recently interviewed Team GB’s rising pole vault star, Lancashire-born Red Holly Bleasdale…
What are your Olympic goals?
Because I’m still quite young, I’m happy just to be here, but given my current success [a bronze medal at the recent World Indoor Championships], I’m hoping for the top six and maybe even more. Lots of people have talked to me about winning a medal, but I think being so young and not wanting to put too much pressure on myself, I’m going to aim for top six – and then hopefully I’ll get better than that.
How exciting is it to have a home Olympic Games?
I’ve always really wanted to be in the Olympics. To be able to be at one in my home country… not a lot of people get to do that. The atmosphere is amazing and I’ve been really excited leading up to it. It’s a really great experience.
You were sports-mad as a kid – was football one of your hobbies?
Yeah, when I was in high school I used to play for my local team. I really enjoyed football, but I got injured doing it, so I thought I’d
give athletics a try because it’s a non-contact sport. But I used to love playing football. I used to play up front and I got quite a lot of goals.
How long have you supported United?
Since forever. I’d probably say I was about five when I started wearing the United shirt. It’s not in my family, football, really. But me and my sister both support United. I don’t know why we went for them. It was nearby, and they were a really good team, so ever since then we’ve been supporting them.
Who is your all-time favourite Red?
I’d probably say Ruud van Nistelrooy – he was just epic, I really like him. But from the current squad, I’d say Danny Welbeck, because he lives in Manchester and I’ve seen him doing work with youngsters, and I really like doing that. I go into primary schools and teach kids how to do pole vault, and I really enjoy it. It’s showed me that I want to be a coach when I’m older.