Bobsleigh stars looking to carry momentum of superb season into Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games after official Team GB selection
Six athletes with University of Bath-based British Bobsleigh will be looking to build on the sport’s most successful season in three decades at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games next month after officially being selected by Team GB today.
Brad Hall will pilot Britain’s men in both the two-man and four-man competitions after an excellent IBSF World Cup campaign which saw his crews win six medals and finish fourth overall in the four-man world rankings.
Hall also won two-man silver at October’s Olympic Test Event at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre and will be joined in that event by Nick Gleeson, who is selected for his second Olympic Games along with fellow brakeman Greg Cackett.
Taylor Lawrence will be making his Winter Games debut in China, as will Beijing 2008 Summer Olympian Montell Douglas who will partner pilot Mica McNeill – who guided GB to a top-ten finish at PyeongChang 2018 – in the women’s bobsleigh. Ben Simons and Adele Nicoll are the travelling reserves.
‘Can you get a medal?’ – @susannareid100
With just over 2 weeks to go till the Winter Olympics in Beijing begin, Team GB’s Bobsleigh team, Brad hall, Gregg Cackett, Taylor Lawrence and Nick Gleeson talk to Ben and Susanna about their hopes for the Games. pic.twitter.com/eM0ip8TwwZ
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) January 20, 2022
Hall said: “I’m honoured to be selected to represent Team GB again and I know the rest of my crew feel exactly the same. We’ve had a great season so far and we’re hoping to carry that momentum into the Games.
“We said at the start of the season that we wanted to be competing with the best in the world on a consistent basis and we’ve shown we can do that. The boys have regularly been among the best starters in the world, too, and we’re heading to Beijing full of confidence.
“We’re at the business end of the season and it’s now all about giving it everything we’ve got at the Olympics, knowing that we’ve got a realistic chance of coming home with a medal.”
McNeill added: “I am very excited to get onto the plane to Beijing next week for my second Olympic Games. It’s been a very different journey to the Games this time round but I’ve loved every moment of making it happen. I can’t wait to get back on the ice out there and represent Team GB.”
Today’s selections mean that 10 members of the University-based British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association (BBSA) will represent Team GB in Beijing, following Wednesday’s confirmation that Brogan Crowley, Laura Deas, Matt Weston and Marcus Wyatt will compete in the skeleton.
Eight Olympic medals have been won by BBSA athletes during the 20 years they have been training on the UK’s only push-start track at the University of Bath, including bronze at Sochi 2014 for the GB four-man crew of John Jackson, Stuart Benson, Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon.
Tasker is the Beijing 2022 Team Leader for bobsleigh and said: “It’s really exciting heading into an Olympic Games with teams producing their best results ever. You cannot ask more of an athlete than to be the best they have ever been and both teams have achieved record performances this year.
“The pandemic has thrown the teams huge challenges but the resolve and determination of the athletes has been inspiring. No hope has been lost and these teams that are already at a disadvantage with no home track to practice on continue to challenge for and win medals on the global stage. I am immensely proud of each and every one of them.
“The hard work and preparation has been done now. The teams know what they need to do and how – it’s just about execution of the plan, and I’m confident in their ability do that.”
Bobsleigh athletes also train in the gym and on the athletics tracks at the £35million Team Bath Sports Training Village, which is also home to a host of Summer Olympic and Paralympic champions from Tokyo 2020.
Picture credit: @rekords