Swansea weightlifter Natasha Perdue seals her ‘dream’ place in Team GB
SWANSEA weightlifter Natasha Perdue will be hoping to swap rubbish for a medal this summer after securing her place at the London Olympics.
The 36-year-old drove bin lorries in Swansea for more than a decade before moving away three years ago to pursue her sporting ambitions.
Perdue, from Trallwn, relocated to Leeds in order to train at the British weightlifting team’s headquarters.
But rather than merely binning her old job, Perdue now carries out the same duties for Leeds Council and combines her role there with her training.
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Perdue starts work at 6am every morning, but the daily grind will take a backseat in the coming weeks after her place in the Team GB weightlifting squad was confirmed yesterday.
“I can’t describe in words how happy I feel and I keep pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming,” she said.
“I waited two weeks for the call, and when it came I didn’t want to answer it in case it was bad news. I asked them to repeat it about three times just to make sure!”
The London Games will be particularly special for Perdue, who will be following in the footsteps of her father.
Perdue’s dad Terry finished in tenth place at the Mexico and Munich Olympics in 1968 and 1972, and he also won medals at the Commonwealth Games.
Although weightlifting runs in the family, Perdue’s involvement in the sport was somewhat accidental.
A former karate champion, Perdue’s talent for weightlifting was spotted during her martial arts days.
But once she had been introduced to the world of weightlifting, Perdue had her sights set on the Olympics.
“My dad used to go to the gym with my brother but I was more interested in karate,” she said.
“After my dad passed away, my brother said if I trained as a weightlifter I could reach the Commonwealth Games.
“Weightlifting has changed me completely — when I’m on the platform it’s like an animal comes out. My dad got into the top ten twice at the Olympics and, when I decided I want to go for this, I wanted to get to where my father got.”