Yarnold completed the career Grand Slam of Olympic, World Championship, World Cup and European Championship gold before taking time away from the circuit last season.
The 27-year-old decided that a break from competition would be the best way to recharge her batteries ahead of the next Winter Olympics in South Korea in 2018 and she is now raring to go as she embarks on a solid summer of training.
“It feels great to be back in the swing of things with my teammates as we prepare for the upcoming season on ice,” said Yarnold, who won all four of the sport’s major titles in just over 400 days between 2014 and 2015.
“Having had last season away from the competition circuit, I do feel incredibly refreshed and a world away from the emotional exhaustion that I was suffering from. Having a year to solely focus on training in the gym reminded me of what I love most about my job – challenging yourself physically and mentally to be better than you’ve been. Training in the gym with just those physical goals was liberating and helped me to re-focus on what I want to achieve in my sport.
“Most importantly, I needed the time away to mentally refresh and have a break from the demanding competition schedule. I learnt that I didn’t have to be at my best all of the time and that sometimes it’s ok to take some time for yourself.
“I’m fully aware that the competition is in great shape, not least within the GB team itself where Laura (Deas) and Donna (Creighton) have kept the flag flying for us. I’d like the World Championship trophy back on my mantelpiece and retaining my title at the 2018 Olympics is of course in my sights. More so than the accolades, I am even more motivated to be a better slider than I was before. I have to prove that, not for others, but for myself.
“I’d like to say thanks to Ben Ainslie Racing for allowing me to train at their fantastic facilities and I’m grateful to everyone at the BBSA and UK Sport for their continued support.”
Yarnold will split her summer training time between GB Skeleton’s base at the Sports Training Village and her home in Portsmouth as she targets a return to competition for the first race of the season in December of this year.
And, although Yarnold’s return was always planned, her presence back within the squad is a huge boost to the team as a whole.
“We’re obviously delighted to have Lizzy back in training with the squad and we are really looking forward to seeing her back out on the ice this winter,” said GB Skeleton Performance Advisor, Andi Schmid.
“We were fully behind Lizzy’s decision to take a season away from sliding and it is already clear that it was the correct call for Lizzy as she looks to add to her impressive array of achievements. She is training hard and progressing quickly and her expertise, experience and enthusiasm is already rubbing off on the whole squad.
“Lizzy re-iterated her desire to succeed at a second Olympics on numerous occasions and, although she wasn’t out on the ice last season, we worked very closely with her in terms of a specific training programme to ensure she would be ready to kick on again when she returned.
“She has enjoyed so much success already but there is no reason why she can’t go on and achieve even more.”