Aerial skier Lloyd Wallace soars to Olympic debut as slider Jackie Narracott also earns PyeongChang 2018 selection
Aerial skier Lloyd Wallace and Australian skeleton athlete Jackie Narracott are the latest University of Bath-based sportspeople to be officially selected for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Wallace’s qualification for the Team GB squad – the first male aerial skier to be selected by Britain in 20 years – is all the more remarkable as it comes just six months after he suffered a serious head injury while training in Switzerland.
He was placed in an induced coma but made a full and speedy recovery, allowing him to return in time for the six-race World Cup series where he earned the points needed to qualify for next month’s Winter Games in South Korea.
Wallace graduated from the University last summer in Sports Performance and received support from a Santander Sports Scholarship, the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) and the Team Bath Dual Career programme as he juggled his studies with training and competing on the international circuit.
He is currently receiving a service support grant from Team Bath, providing him with continued access to the training and sport science facilities at the University, and did some of his post-rehabilitation work with strength & conditioning coach Harri Cizmic.
Wallace will become the third generation of his family to compete at a Winter Olympic Games, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, dad Robin (1988) and mum Jilly (1992 and 1996). Sister Elodie, a current Sports Performance student, is also an aerial skier and represented GB at last year’s World University Games.
Skeleton athlete Narracott also has Olympic pedigree in her family, with her uncle Paul the first Australian athlete to compete at both a Summer and Winter Games.
She has based her training at the University of Bath for the past 18 months, working with athletics coach Rob Ellchuk, and finished the 2017-18 ISBF World Cup women’s skeleton season ranked 18th overall to earn her Olympic place.
“It’s hard to put into words exactly what selection means,” Narracott said. “I’ve had this dream since I was nine years old, so achieving it is both surreal and hugely exciting.”
Sixteen athletes who train at the University of Bath have now been selected for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, running from February 9-25, with Wallace and Narracott joining the four skeleton and ten bobsleigh athletes selected by Team GB earlier this week.
Sports Performance graduate Madelaine Smith and fellow skeleton athlete Marcus Wyatt – both of whom compete for the University-based British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association (BBSA) – will also travel to PyeongChang with the British Olympic Association Ambition Programme, which provides potential future Olympians with first-hand experience of the Games environment.