Golden girl Amy Williams and her fellow University of Bath-based British Olympic Winter Games athletes have returned to Bath today.
Amy became Team GB’s first individual Olympic Winter Games gold medallist for 30 years when she topped the podium in the skeleton at the Vancouver 2010 Games.
The 27-year-old produced a stunning performance to become Britain’s first Olympic skeleton gold medallist, winning the title by an emphatic 0.56 seconds on her Olympic debut.
Her first Olympic Winter Games ended with the honour of carrying the Union Flag at Sunday’s closing ceremony.
Right now she is taking part in an open top bus tour of Bath and will receive a heroine’s welcome when she arrives at 5.30pm today at the place she says “feels like home”, the Sports Training Village at the University of Bath, for a champagne celebration.
The University has a bob-skeleton push-start track and it is the headquarters of Britain’s bob-skeleton programme as well as boasting £30million in world-class sports facilities which are backed by cutting edge sports support services.
Professor Glynis Breakwell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath, said the city can be proud of Amy. She said: “The whole University, and indeed the city of Bath, can feel very proud of Amy’s fantastic achievement.
“We are delighted that she wants to share her celebrations with the University community and I know she will receive a very warm and richly deserved welcome from us all.”
Bath MP Don Foster has also paid tribute to Amy’s achievements. He wrote to Amy: “Your success has highlighted that with the right dedication and commitment anything is possible. It is particularly inspiring that you were prepared to give up many things you loved in order to try your hand at something you saw on TV, and have been able to live your dream. I believe you are a fantastic example to young people in Bath, and across the country”.
Vancouver 2010 was also a landmark for a number of other British winter sport athletes who train at the University of Bath.
Adam Pengilly, representing Team GB at his second Olympic Winter Games, finished 18th in the men’s skeleton competition. His Games ended on a high point when he learned his campaign for election to the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission had been a success. Adam polled the highest number of votes among the nine candidates.
There was also an impressive performance by bobsleigh driver Paula Walker on her Olympic debut. Walker, driving GBR 2 with partner Kelly Thomas, ended her campaign in 11th place – a position higher than her world ranking.
And snowboarder Zoe Gillings, who does some of her land-based training at the University of Bath, finished eighth in the snowboard cross event at her second Olympic Winter Games.
The University of Bath has one of the leading university sports departments in the UK. Under its Team Bath brand, its success is based on the expertise and dedication of staff, and its excellent facilities, used by the community and Olympic medal winners alike.
Members of the media who require further information can contact the Team Bath Press Office at Matchtight Ltd on (01225) 383518 or 01225 443998 or see the Team Bath website.