My Secret Life: Katherine Grainger, 36, Olympic Rower
'I wanted to join the circus'
My parents were ... teachers, both very hard workers and always supportive of my more unconventional plans.
The household I grew up in ... I grew up in Glasgow on this fantastic street – about eight of the houses had kids my age. My strongest memory is just all the kids playing out on long, late summer nights.
When I was a child I wanted to be ... When I was very young I got a telescope – I wanted to go to the moon, which hasn't happened yet. I wanted to be a vet and I wanted to join the circus at one point.
If I could change one thing about myself ... I bought a saxophone when I won my first world championship – I'd love to have time to do it properly.
You wouldn't know it but I am very good at ... remembering people's birthdays, building Lego, and juggling.
You may not know it but I'm no good at ... cooking, 10-pin bowling and karaoke.
I wish I had never worn ... I was young, and it was the Eighties, and I wore a powder-blue jumpsuit with a multicoloured paper bow tie.
What I see when I look in the mirror ... Today, I see a tired athlete battered by the winter weather.
It's not fashionable but I like ... listening to The Archers.
My house is ... very homely. And my garden is immaculate because I have the best neighbours in the world who mow it for me!
My favourite work of art ... Rodin's The Thinker.
My favourite building ... In this country, probably Old College, part of Edinburgh University law school. I remember when I first walked in there before accepting to study law there – it's beautiful, a bit daunting, and inspiring.
A book that changed me ... Probably when I was young it was the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, which started my interest in crime and detective things.
Movie heaven ... I love going to the cinema – I still get excited at that moment when you're about to immerse yourself.
My greatest regret ... Remember that powder blue jumpsuit?
My secret crush ... I would say Zorro, especially if played by Antonio Banderas.
My real-life villain ... On the world stage, Mugabe, and on a more personal level, the person who clamped my car when I went in to pick something up from the shops for one minute.
The person who really makes me laugh ... [Fellow rower] Jess Eddie, who got me through the last training camp – she made me laugh every day.
My life in six words ... If at first you don't succeed...
A LIFE IN BRIEF
Katherine Grainger MBE was born in Glasgow in 1975 and studied law at Edinburgh University. In 1997 she won a gold medal in the Under 23 Rowing Championships. At her first Olympics in Sydney in 2000, she won a silver medal, which she also took at Athens and Beijing. Grainger will compete in the 2012 games and has inspired the 'LTS Row' collection for Long Tall Sally, supplier of the GB Rowing Team. She is studying homicide for a PhD at King's College London, and lives in Maidenhead
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
Manchester City vs Manchester United combined XI: No place for Yaya Toure... or any United defenders
Sami Khedira transfer news: Arsenal can win the Premier League if they sign Khedira in January, says Perry Groves
Paul Scholes: At last! Some credit for Sam Allardyce
Manchester City vs Manchester United analysis: Manuel Pellegrini has no excuse for City's lack of a Plan B, writes Danny Higginbotham
Impressive Kurt Zouma may save Chelsea millions by replacing John Terry
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 5 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything