Anna Morris’s route to the Commonwealth Games couldn’t exactly be called traditional.
A junior doctor during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Cardiff-born athlete had an unusual journey to becoming a world class cyclist after growing up surrounded by sport.
Growing up in Cardiff, a young Morris enjoyed netball, hockey, cross country, gymnastics, triathlon and tennis, but strangely enough, didn’t get on the cycling track until she was at university.
Skip forward a few years, and Morris has already finished fourth in the women’s team pursuit and also represented her country in the time trial and road race at the Commonwealth Games.
While Morris has long been an obvious sporting enthusiast, it wasn’t until university that she started cycling properly, so why was it that she decided to get on the bike exactly?
“I went off to the University of Southampton and wanted to find a triathlon club, and then in my second year I joined the university’s cycling club alongside the triathlon club because it made up a significant part of a triathlon and it was an area I needed to improve in,” explains Anna.
“I wanted to get more confident, and it just went from there really. They wanted people for the track team at the university championships, so I started doing track sessions.
“It started to get difficult when I was on placement in my third year while juggling three sports.
“Running was probably the easiest time-wise, but I struggled with injury, so I was riding the bike more and more and I just kept improving, which is always a good way to keep motivated.
“I am very fortunate and grateful that the university cycling team helped me so much.”
When Morris finished her degree, she began working as a junior doctor during the Covid-19 pandemic, before taking a well-earned break to focus on her other passion.
“I worked in 2020 and 2021, so the Commonwealth Games, marks a year from when I took a year out to concentrate on my cycling,” she says.
“Fortunately, it has paid off. I’ve gained a lot of experience, so I’ll just have to see how it goes.”
Morris went to Llanishen High school in Cardiff and is joined by several past alumni in Team Wales team for this year's Commonwealth Games.
The list includes classmate Elinor Barker and her younger sister Megan, Jake Hayward, Bethan Davies and Luke Rowe.
The 27-year-old grew up encouraged by her parents and school to play a variety of sports and was captivated from an early age.