Team GB Female Winter Olympic Athletes to Be Inspired By

Team GB Female Winter Olympic Athletes to Be Inspired By

 

The 2018 Winter Olympics finished a bit ago in Pyeong Chang and let me tell you, they did not disappoint! I am obsessed with the Olympics and although I love me some Summer Games the Winter Olympics are an underrated gem. The Olympic Games are so incredible to watch; they make you feel extremely mediocre about your own achievements but in the most patriotic way possible? You can find me and my family screaming at the television whilst winter athletes take part in seriously the craziest kind of sports. I am an Olympic super-fan and every time there’s a games on I become ridiculously engrossed in them, one of my favourite things about them is that the female athletes are celebrated just as much, and sometimes even more so than the men. The sheer power, ability, drive and grace that they display in their sports is jaw dropping. I realise though that not everyone is die hard Olympic watcher like myself and so I thought I would compile at list of the most inspiring Team GB female athletes (with some honourable international mentions)!

 

Lizzy Yarnold and Laura Deas

Lizzy Yarnold became the most successful British Winter Olympic athlete when she defended her skeleton title in Pyeong Chang. The final two skeleton runs were nail biting, which saw Yarnold win by 0.45 seconds. As she becomes our most decorated Olympian she hopes to travel around schools hoping to inspire children to pursue their dreams and not give up, she says: “I fail more times than I succeed”.

Yarnold also said that the feeling of winning gold was made even better by the fact she got to share it with her friend Laura Deas who won bronze by only 0.02 seconds. Although it was her first Olympic games, she began skeleton racing in 2009 through the UK Sports Girls4Gold talent identification initiative showing that when we activity try and get girls and women involved in sport, we can win medals!

 

 

Elise Christie

Elise Christie’s Olympics games were sadly not as successful as the skeleton medal winners. She crashed out or was disqualified from all of her races and also tore ligaments in her ankle, a huge disappointment for the speed skating world champion. But at the end of the games she showed that she would refuse to let them be the end of her and expressed a want to get back on the ice and push forward to the 2022 Beijing games.

Penny Cooomes

After the 1984 Winter Olympics which saw Torvill and Deans eternally famous ice dance routine, no British skaters after been able to emulate their success. Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland although still in the search for a medal and hope to display a routine as famous as Torvill and Deans were also just happy to be able to step onto the ice. During a routine lift training in Michigan, Coomes shattered her knee in eight places that resulted in her being told that she would never skate again. She however was determined, endured months of therapy and training which helped the pair finished in a respectable 11th place. Coomes showed us that even when we’re told we can’t do something, if we continue to persevere and work we can achieve our goals and dreams!

Mica McNeill and Mica Moore

Everybody loves an underdog and Mica and Mica are proof of that. Five months before the games were set to begin, the Bobsleigh federation pulled funding from the female GB pair. They wouldn’t let that stop them, they set up a crowdfunding page and were able to raise £50,000 to get them to the games. And they didn’t disappoint, they finished in 8th place, the best performing result for a female British bobsleigh team ever. Not only that but they finished ten places higher than the two male bobsleigh teams that the confederation funded with £5 million pounds. Talk about girl power.

Honourable International Mentions

US Women’s Ice Hockey Team

The women’s ice hockey final was a tense one to say the least, after draw at the end of the game and in over time it went to a penalty shoot out which saw the American team win the gold medal in with a sudden death goal. The gold medal was made even sweeter by the work the team had put in off the ice leading up to the games. A year before the games began the team secured another great victory, the fight for better pay winning a better salary and benefits including maternity leave, health insurance child care proving that they’re badass on and off the ice.

Ester Ledecka

Ester made history at the games by winning gold in both a skiing and snowboarding event, something that had never been done before. The snowboarding parallel giant slalom was her key event, but she shocked even herself when she also won gold at skiing super G (she explained after the race that when she saw her time she though that the clock was broken). After being told she should give up her ambitions of competing in both events Ledecka held her ground and proved the doubters wrong.

Tessa Virtue

Tessa Virtue is a freaking ice skating queen. She began skating with her partner Scott Moir in 1997 and they’ve been winning championships and medals ever since. One that was missing however was an Olympic gold medal. Although much of the media attention around the pair has been about their relationship the focus has to be on the performance that she puts on, on the ice. She’s both strong and graceful, passionate and effortless and an all-round performer. The skating pair currently hold the record for pair figure skating and are the most decorated Olympic figure skaters of all time. Seriously go and watch their gold winning performance if you haven’t already, you won’t be able to take your eyes off Tessa.

Pictures: Team GB website

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