Great Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold, one of the favourites to win gold in the women’s skeleton at Sochi 2014, has revealed that she was inspired to succeed by the exploits of fellow British Olympian, heptathlete Denise Lewis.
Lewis won gold in the multi-discipline event at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and Yarnold is looking to match her feat at the 2014 Winter Games. “I think I wanted to become an Olympian when I watched the 2000 Games when Denise Lewis competed in heptathlon,” says the current Skelton World Cup holder.
“She had one arm in the beautiful GB sleeve and one arm just naked. And she looked magnificent. A top athlete and really strong woman,” she adds. “I think I just wanted to emulate her and when I came to skeleton at 19 I've just loved everything about it and I wanted to get better and better.”
A dream come true
"Now I'm an Olympian and that means the dream came true for me." Yarnold, who is hoping to emulate the achievements of compatriot Amy Williams who took gold at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, said she did not feel under particular pressure in Sochi.
“I don't feel I'm under pressure here," said the 25-year-old, who topped both of Tuesday's practice runs. “It was fun during the practice... and the chemistry was very positive, but also with lots of experiments. It's a good, fun track and I am really enjoying everything here so far.”
The Briton says that she will be relying on tried and trusted routine in her bid for Olympic success: “I have really simple goals, not only at the Olympics but at any World Cup competition," she explains. “I just try to do my best at every single competition and training run. “And I'm trying to be as good as I can when it comes to race day as the competition is very, very fierce and our group is very strong.”