Sochi 2014 Team GB hopeful
Lizzy Yarnold already has something in common with Olympic skeleton champion Amy Williams but they could have even more to share if she gets her way this time next year.
Yarnold currently rents a flat owned by Williams, who became Team GB’s first individual Winter Olympic champion for 30 years at Vancouver 2010 before retiring last May, in Bath and has enjoyed a fine start among the sports elite.
The 24-year-old only made her World Cup debut last year in January but can already boast four podium finishes, two of which are wins, junior world gold and senior world bronze.
Yarnold’s two wins and global medals came just a month after she made her World Cup debut while in this season’s series she is the top Brit in fourth ahead of the final round in the Olympic venue in Sochi.
She narrowly missed out on a second successive World Championship medal last weekend as she finished fourth with fellow Brit and Olympic silver medallist from 2006 Shelley Rudman taking gold in St Moritz.
Rudman’s win crowned her Britain’s first female skeleton world champion and only the nation’s second ever following on from partner Kristan Bromley’s gold medal in Altenberg in 2008.
And, with the tantalising prospect of two Brits on the Olympic podium when the women’s skeleton finishes on February 14 next year in Sochi, Yarnold isn’t getting carried away but is content with her progress.
“It’s exciting and I’ve spoken to Amy a lot about what to expect as it will be my first Games, if I qualify,” said Yarnold. “And I can’t believe people are interested in that [renting a house off Williams].
“We’ve been friends for years and it was quite upsetting when she quit the sport. Shelley winning was amazing. Whenever we compete, we are part of a team and we shake hands but we are competitors first and foremost.
“It was my dream to be full-time in any sport and I had thought of modern pentathlon but in hindsight I was an avid skier. My sister was spotted for handball and I wondered what I could be good at.
“Within three years of being selected for skeleton, I was winning World Cups, so it just shows that these schemes really work. I have to remember it would be a massive achievement even to be at the Olympics.
“But I’m exactly where I’d hoped to be right now. Fourth in St Moritz was hard to take but it is still progress.”
© Sportsbeat 2013