British Bobsleigh performance director Gary Anderson believes Paula Walker’s contribution to the sport can’t be understated after the two-time Olympian announced her retirement.
The 29-year-old showed that Britain can mix it with the best in the world back in 2011 after she became the first British woman to be crowned world junior champion with victory in Park City.
Walker represented Great Britain at Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Sochi and will bow-out of the sport after an impressive career.
And Anderson believes the impact of her victory in 2011 is still being felt on the domestic scene.
“We’ve got a lot to thank Paula for,” said Anderson. “Paula winning the World Junior Championships in Park City in 2011 helped put British Bobsleigh back on the map.
“A lot of the investment we are now getting started on that day when Paula proved that we could compete with the best in the world.
“Paula’s win in the World Junior Championships was a catalyst for the future success of the sport and it was a real milestone on our journey so far.
“She has been an asset to British Bobsleigh and we wish her all the best in her future endeavours.”
Walker is a corporal in the Royal Corps of Signals and has represented the army in badminton, boxing, rounders, rugby and athletics.
And she says that she hopes to see the improvements continue and that her teammates can push on to the next level.
“It's been a very tough decision to leave the British Bobsleigh family but, after having my daughter Poppy, all my time and attention needs to go to her,” said Walker.
“I'd like to personally thank all my team mates along the way who have braved their lives getting into my sled and given me 100% day in, day out.
“My career couldn't have happened without the support of the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association and in particular I would like to thank Peter Gunn, who has been my driving coach since I made the transition to pilot. His knowledge and patience have been tested to their limits!
“I wish the entire team the best of luck in their quest to be the world's best.”
© Sportsbeat 2015