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Venus: Olympics are pinnacle of sport

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Originally published on: 27/07/12 00:00

Venus and her sister, Serena, are playing in singles and will join forces as they attempt to defend the doubles title they won in Beijing. The sisters also won the doubles crown in Sydney in 2000. Venus also won the singles gold in Sydney and is the only woman other than Helen Wills, in Paris in 1924, to win singles and doubles golds in the same year at the Olympics. Conchita Martinez is the only tennis player to win medals at three different Olympics, having won silver in 1992, bronze in 1996 and silver in 2004, all in the women's doubles.

“People live and die in those Olympic moments with you, so for us it's about sharing that moment with our country and the world and each other,” Venus said. “I fought everything to be in the Olympics. After Rome I was in tears in the press conference because I'd come close to making it. I’d almost made it. I fought hard to be in these Olympics.”

Both sisters have overcome physical problems to continue their careers. Serena spent nearly a year out of the game after suffering a serious foot injury, while Venus came back at the start of this year after a six-month absence following her diagnosis with an auto-immune disease. Their comebacks ended in triumph at Wimbledon, where they won the doubles title and Serena won the singles crown for a fifth time.

“For me it's definitely been a journey,” Venus said. “I'm sure it still will be.  But I'm definitely very inspired by her and everything that she's done.”

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