Elizabeth “Lizzy” Yarnold won Great Britain’s first gold medal of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi after dominating the women’s skeleton from start to finish. It meant that Team GB retained the title won by Amy Williams four years earlier in Vancouver. She also won the World Cup for 2013-2014. For the uninitiated ‘the skeleton’ is a sliding sport in which a person rides a small sled head first down a frozen ice chute at 130km. Madness!
Like many Winter Olympic Sports, it’s an elite event. You have to become part of the programme, which obviously Lizzy did, being picked by the Girls 4 Gold talent spotting drive in women’s sport. But she was picked for her shot putting ability! Then a series of tests revealed she would be better as a skeleton racer, similar to Amy, who was a converted 400 metres runner. Her sled is called ‘Mervyn’.