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Selected athletes

Sixteen athletes with links to the University of Bath were among those selected to compete for Team GB across four sports at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Bobsleigh

John Baines

John BainesBiography: Like many of the bobsleigh squad here at Team Bath, John was initially a sprinter, winning 100m and 200m titles at county level. He switched to bobsleigh in 2008, becoming a Brakeman. He can normally be found working as a communication specialist for the Royal Air Force. He has been selected in the GBR2 4-man team at Sochi.

After Craig Pickering had to withdraw from the squad through injury, John was selected as his replacement for the 2-Man competition. Pickering was replaced by Andrew Matthews in the 4-Man competition.

 

Stuart Benson

Biography: Already an accomplished triple jumper, 200m runner and 60m indoor sprinter – Scottish champion no less – Stuart began his bobsleigh career in the summer of 2011 and now finds himself as a brakeman in the Team GB set-up. He will be competing in the GBR1 4-man team at Sochi.

Lamin Deen

Lamin DeenBiography: Starting Bobsleigh in 2006, Lamin’s usual role is a Queen’s Guardsman. The rest of the time he’s a top UK Bobsleigh athlete. Most people would be lucky to have just one such exciting job. It’s a testament to Lamin’s ability and character that he’s juggling the two. He’s also exhibits sporting prowess in other areas having been Regimental Boxing Champion for 6 years while he also enjoys Table Tennis and Basketball.

 

 

Joel Fearon

Biography: Another Bobsleigh athlete who made the switch from athletics, Joel was a 100m and 200m runner. However, he took up bobsleigh in 2011. In the 2013/14 season he was selected for a brakeman’s place in the GBR 1 crew. He will be competing in the GBR1 4-man team at Sochi.

John Jackson

Biography: John has had a roller-coaster ride of late with an achilles injury that looked liked keeping him out of the Games. However, he recovered well and guided Great Britain to silver in the World Cup at Lake Placid on 15 December 2013 and silver at the European Championships in January 2014. He now finds himself in the GBR1 4-man squad.

Craig Pickering

Craig PickeringBiography: Craig excelled as a sprinter, winning 100m bronze at the 2003 World Youth Championships and then taking 100m gold at the 2005 European Junior Championships. His sprinting career culminated in Beijing in 2008 when he represented Great Britain and now he becomes one of a select few athletes to represent his country in both a summer and winter Olympics. He is part of the GBR2 4-man squad and the GBR1 2-man duo.

Craig recently spoke to us about his selection and his move from sprint to bobsleigh.

Sadly, Craig suffered an injury while preparing for the bobsleigh competition and had to withdraw from the squad. Lamin Deen was instead partnered by Pickering’s replacement John Baines in the 2-Man competition. Andrew Matthews stepped in to the GBR2 sleigh for the 4-Man competition.

Ben Simons

Ben SimonsBiography: Like Craig, in a previous life Ben was a sprinter, representing Wales in the 100m and 4x100m relay as well as dabbling in long jump, football and rugby. He came to Bobsleigh in 2012 where his speed and acceleration was put to use in the launching process. He takes the Brakeman berth in the team and is able to compete in the 2 and 4 man format. He will compete at Sochi in the GBR2 4-man team.

Bruce Tasker

Biography: A former 400m runner, Bruce took up bobsleigh in 2010 and was one of the brakemen in the GB crew finishing fifth at the 2013 World Championships. Earned a place in the GBR 1 crew for the start of the 2013/4 season. He will race in the GBR1 4-man team.

Paula Walker

Biography: Paula started her bobsleigh career as a brakewoman in 2006 but soon progressed to the driver’s seat. She made her Olympic debut at the Vancouver Games in 2010, finishing a creditable 11th place on the super fast Whister track. She will be making an appearance in the Sochi Games as part of the GBR1 2-woman team.

Rebekah Wilson

Biography: The second seat in the GBR1 2-woman team is taken by Rebekah Wilson and sees she and Paula Walker reunited, having won Gold together at the World Junior Championships in the USA in 2011.

Skeleton

Dr Kristan Bromley

Biography: Dr Kristan Bromley, or “Dr Ice” as he is sometimes know, has been sliding  since 1994. The former University of Bath employee took up the sport as a result of a PhD Research Project. He designed a sledge, became the test pilot and two years later, in 1996, found himself representing Great Britain at the World Cup. Dr Ice will be representing Great Britain at his fourth successive Winter Olympics in Sochi, having previously slid for his country at Salt Lake City in 2002, Torino in 2006 and Vancouver in 2010.

 

Dominic Parsons

Dom Parsons thumbnailBiography: Dom was the highest placed British man at the 2013 World Championships, finishing ninth at his first World Championships and started his 2013/14 season off in impressive style by winning his first World Cup medal, a bronze, in Calgary.

 

 

Shelley Rudman

Biography: A former University of Bath student, Shelly graduated in 2001 with a HND in Coach Ed & Sports Performance. In 2002 she returned to the university to visit friend and Skeleton athlete Greg Kirk, who introduced her to the sport during the trip to Bath. She loved it and spent the next twelve months funding herself , travelling around Europe with a group of military athletes as she looked to learn and develop in the sport. In 2003 she was selected to join the British Skeleton development team. Shelley was selected for the Winter Olympic squads at Torino 2006, Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014.

Lizzy Yarnold

Lizzy Yarnold thumbnailBiography: Lizzy has had a sensational season, gaining a record 7 consecutive podium finishes in the World Cup. Sledging since the age of 19, Lizzy has been hurtling down the track on her sled ‘Mervyn’ to great effect, securing first place in her first official race in 2010. Lizzy has since risen to become one of the top competitors in the sport.

 

 

 

Alpine Skiing

Kelly Gallagher

Kelly Gallagher - British Paralympic Association (BPA)Biography: In 2010 Kelly, a former University of Bath student who is visually impaired, became the first athlete from Northern Ireland to compete at a Winter Paralympics when she represented Great Britain in Vancouver.

She and her guide Charlotte Evans were selected to compete for Team GB at the Sochi Winter Paralympics in Russia in 2014. The pair have been working together since December 2010 and have won many medals together.

Kelly graduated from the University of Bath with a degree in mathematics in 2006.

Team Bath TV spoke to University of Psychology lecturer and Paralympic torch-bearer Dr Michael Proulx about how the minds of athletes like Kelly adapt to visual impairment.

Snowboard cross

Zoe Gillings

Zoe used to train at Team Bath and has been selected for her third winter games, competing in the Snowboard cross event. She finished 6th at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, finished 8th at Vancouver in 2010 and will be looking to improve at Sochi in 2014.

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