The new kid on the block: Arran Gulliver's whirlwind bobsleigh journey

There was no textbook for starting a sport and winning European gold within eight months.

Arran Gulliver had to write it.

The 25-year-old first took up bobsleigh in June 2022 and is already European champion, a world silver medallist and three-time World Cup winner.

Life comes at you fast when you're part of Brad Hall's history-making 4-man bobsleigh team.

Gulliver's still trying to get his head around it all, taking a moment to reflect just days after the 2022-23 season wrapped up.

"It's strange because I think about this time last year when the Winter Olympics were on, and I had heard of bobsleigh, but I would never have thought that I would have been competing in it," he said.

"To be here now is kind of surreal.

"I've always wanted to have a career as a sportsman, but I assumed my time for that had been and gone. So, to be propelled into this position is unbelievable.

"I watched bits and bobs of the Winter Olympic last year. I was away skiing at the time and being in a resort it was all over the TV.

“We would always look out for the British teams, but it just seemed worlds away. There was no thought in my mind that I would be competing in bobsleigh.”

Gulliver already had a successful background in sport before making the switch to bobsleigh.

The natural sportsperson became British schools judo Champion in 2015 and has a 100m sprint time of 10.75 seconds.

When a friend on the skeleton pathway pointed out an Instagram advert for British Bobsleigh trials in June 2022 it seemed like a rare and exciting sporting opportunity.

And it was there that his world changed forever as the wannabe policeman was catapulted into the fantastic world of Hall and his special sled.

"You always wonder what could be," he said.

"You could be great, or you could be terrible, but I just picked it up instantly.

"It was completely different to how I imagined it when I first went down a track. It wasn't quite as rough but the g-force and pressures were a lot more intense.

"From there, I spent days trying to learn the technique and before I knew it Brad had messaged me and I was doing some training with him through July and August.

"I thought I'd start off more in the development and I never imagined I would just go straight into Brad's team and then have all of this success.

"I was meant to be going into the police. I had passed my medical and my interview and was meant to start on the fifth of September, and we had our testing for bobsleigh on the 28th August.

"Then I obviously heard that I had made Brad's team so rang the police to defer my place."

With his place in Team Hall secure, Gulliver had a long pre-season in Lake Placid learning from his new team-mates, Olympians Hall, Greg Cackett and Taylor Lawrence.

And despite being the new kid in a band of brothers, he was never made to feel left out on the road to success.

"We spend all of our time together so it's super important that we get on and we have like a house on fire," he added.

"These guys have been together for a while and are almost like brothers but there was never any point where I felt like I was on the outside of it.

"They're inclusive and they always try and bring you in on their jokes.

“It definitely helps when you have a group that's performance driven and makes everyone feel welcome."

Gulliver is a keen climber, navigating Mont Blanc unguided with his brother Rory last summer.

The adventure seeker is also a self-taught guitar player and worked as a cancer exercise specialist before the Covid pandemic hit.

But with dreams of the Himalayas on hold, Gulliver now dreams of competing at the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan-Cortina. 

"I know I have so much more in me and can get so much better and as a team we think we can get better as well," he added.

"My short-term goals are to really work hard over the summer and come out with a bang on the start. Next year we want to be untouchable on our start.

"We want to get those start records and get our names in the history books.

"We're a young team and we can get better and better all the way up to Milan, which I'm 100% focussed on getting to.

"We could have a lot of success there."

Sportsbeat 2023