Yarnold can follow in Williams' lead at Sochi 2014 says mum

01 August 2013 / 17:10

When Amy Williams won Olympic skeleton gold at Vancouver 2010, Lizzy Yarnold was being inspired watching on from her sofa.

And, having her idol by her side in the run-up to the next Games in Sochi this coming February, makes her a serious medal candidate according to mum Judith.  

The 24-year-old has successfully moved from athletics to skeleton, following up a world bronze in 2012 with fourth in 2013 and her first full senior season.

Initially the thought of seeing her daughter hurtling down a track at breakneck speed struck fear into mum Judith, perhaps because she knew little of the sport.

But having seen the quality of Lizzy’s support staff, from physiotherapists to the sled designers and of course Williams, Judith believes her daughter can become an Olympic champion too.

“I have never known Lizzy to be better motivated and she has the most amazing team working with her,” said Judith.

“From the physios to the nutritionists and sled designers, they are all doing the most fantastic job to produce someone at their physical and mental peak.

“She knows everything she has learnt she will be able to take into her professional life beyond skeleton whenever that might be.

“She was firstly an athlete and for many, many years we took her all over the country where she represented the region and then the country in home internationals and so changing to bob skeleton was a complete change for her.

“You have this fear factor of it but seeing her finish a track safely for the first time and finish on a podium was one of the proudest moments of my life.

“She started turning out on the track about the same time Amy got her gold medal which was inspirational for all of us.

“Amy has been a tremendous friend to Lizzy and amazing support. They have a good relationship and I thanked her for the pleasure that we had from her Olympics and the inspiration she has given to Lizzy.”

Judith is still unsure whether the family has the finances available to fly out to Sochi if Lizzy does qualify but insists they will always be able to offer her support in any way possible.

“We, along with other parents, are not entirely sure about the finances of going out to Sochi and whether it will be possible but obviously we would love to be there,” she added.

“Lizzy likes us to keep our distance and because she has so much communication from a lot of people we as a family keep it to an email a week and allow her to ring us and talk when she wants.

“It is really important for a parent, as much as you want to be a part of it, to realise they have huge demands and pressures on them so you need to respect that and be there when you are needed.”

© Sportsbeat 2013