Nicola Adams has revealed how she was forced to fight through the pain barrier to make history as the first ever Olympic women's boxing gold medallist in London last year.
Adams captured the nation's hearts by sweeping through the flyweight division, while keeping secret a serious hand injury which caused her pain and restricted her training regime.
Adams damaged ligaments in two knuckles on her right hand during her run to the final of the World Championships in May last year and the injury threatened to hit her hopes of an Olympic medal.
"I boxed right through the Olympics with a battered hand," said Adams.
"I damaged it at the World Championships, but I knew I had 10 or 12 weeks before the Olympics and we came to the conclusion we could bandage it up and make the best of it.
"It was bad enough that I couldn't warm up on the pads and I felt it all the way through my fights.
"But I had the will-power and determination to get through it. I kept telling myself I only had one or two fights more to go before I realised my ambition of becoming Olympic champion."
Adams knocked down China's world number one Ren Cancan en route to an emphatic final victory which made her a household name.
The 30-year-old from Leeds has relished a whirlwind of public appearances since her victory in London, and has now returned to light training after an operation on her injury in December.
Adams is now most likely to make her long-awaited return to the ring at the European Union Championships in Keszthely, Hungary in June.
Adams, who will receive her MBE next week at Buckingham Palace, added: "I am still as passionate as ever about the sport.
"I have still got to get a gold medal at the World Championships and I am also looking forward to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year. I have a lot left to prove before I am finished."
Tags: Amateur Boxing