On this day in 2010 – Amy Williams claims skeleton gold at Winter Olympics

By Sports Desk February 20, 2024 224

Amy Williams tamed Canada’s notorious Whistler track on this day in 2010 to claim skeleton gold and become Britain’s first individual Winter Olympic gold medallist in 30 years.

On a course where Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili tragically died the previous week, Williams steered four near-perfect runs to claim victory by over half a second.

Kerstin Szymkowiak took silver a full 0.56 seconds behind Williams, while her Germany team-mate Anja Huber earned the remaining podium place with bronze.

Williams set a track record of 53.83 on her first run and shattered it by going 53.68 on her first of two final runs, she then led from start to finish to follow figure skater Robin Cousins in the British Winter Games hall of fame.

Speaking about the course, situated to the north of Vancouver, Williams said: “I love this track. Once you get over the fear factor you learn to love it and the speed is your friend.

“You’ve got to work with it and relax and if you do that it’s a great track to slide.”

Her record-breaking run helped her set a 0.3 second lead overnight and despite fears that nerves could play a part when she returned to the track, the 27-year-old insisted she had never let her position play on her mind.

“I surprised myself because I wasn’t really nervous,” added Williams, who won Team GB’s only gold medal at the Vancouver Games on what was her Olympic debut.

“I slept absolutely perfectly and I was quite excited. It doesn’t feel like an Olympic Games – it just feels like a normal World Cup race except with more people shouting for me.

“I’m not very good at statistics so I didn’t realise I’m the first gold medallist for a long time. But I think it shows that if you have the determination any country can be good at any sport and you just have to concentrate and do your best.”

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Last modified on Tuesday, 20 February 2024 08:13
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