Olympic medallist Dom Parsons retires from skeleton after historic career while training and studying at University of Bath

28 December 2019

Dom Parsons, who won a historic Olympic skeleton medal while training and studying at the University of Bath, has announced his retirement from the sport.

Parsons became the first British male skeleton athlete to win an Olympic medal in 70 years when he made the podium in PyeongChang in February 2018.

The 32-year-old took a year away from sliding following his Olympic success to complete his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath before returning to the British Skeleton team this winter.

However, after competing in the first two World Cup races of the season, Parsons – a former 400m runner who made his international debut in 2008 has decided that now is the right moment to call time on his sliding career.

“After twelve years in skeleton I’ve decided to stop competing in the sport I love,” said Parsons, who trained with the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association at the University and was also coached by Rob Ellchuk.

“This decision was made harder by the fact that I love skeleton so much. I’m happy with having overcome the obstacles to achieve the highs of my career and, with that, the desire to keep striving for perfection has faded.

Dom Parsons is joined by runners of all ages ahead of the 2018 Olympic Day Run
Dom Parsons is joined by runners of all ages ahead of the 2018 Olympic Day Run

“I’m looking forward to new challenges and opportunities ahead, and will always remember my time as a skeleton athlete fondly.

“I have made some incredible friends in the sport and I hope to stay in touch with all of you. Thank you to all those that have supported me in my career, in particular Kristan Bromley, Rob Ellchuk, Chris Type, Eric Bernotas and UK Sport.

“Good luck to my team mates for the rest of the season and beyond to Beijing.”

As well as winning bronze in PyeongChang, Parsons – who received support juggling his academic and sporting pursuits through the Team Bath Dual Career programme – placed 10th at his first Olympic Games in Sochi 2014 and won World Cup bronze in Calgary in 2013. He finished fifth in both the 2014/15 and 2015/16 overall World Cup standings and was seventh at the 2015 World Championships in Winterberg.

“Dom has enjoyed a superb sliding career and he will long be remembered for his historic Olympic success,” said Natalie Dunman, Performance Director for the British Skeleton team.

“His medal moment in PyeongChang was truly amazing to watch and it was a great reward for all the hard work and dedication that he has put into the sport over the last 12 years.

“Dom has been a key part of the team for a long time and we are naturally disappointed to see him retire as we had previously discussed his hopes of matching his medal feat at the next Olympics in Beijing in two years’ time. We understand Dom’s decision, though, and we fully respect his desire to move on now.

“Dom has just completed his PhD and not long got married so he has exciting times ahead of him away from the ice. We wish him all the best for what lies ahead and we thank him for what will be a lasting contribution to our sport.”

Parsons’ place on the World Cup team for the races in Winterberg and La Plagne in January will be taken by fellow 2018 Olympian Jerry Rice. Rice, who finished 10th alongside Parsons in PyeongChang, will rejoin Marcus Wyatt and Craig Thompson on the sport’s top circuit.

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