Yarnold waits for card

  • Last Updated: February 15 2014, 18:10 GMT

Lizzy Yarnold will receive her Olympic gold medal in a ceremony at the Olympic Park in Sochi on Saturday night - but she is still waiting for a Valentine's card from her boyfriend.

Lizzy Yarnold: Awaiting medal - and valentine's card
Lizzy Yarnold: Awaiting medal - and valentine's card

The Kent 25-year-old said she expected her achievement to feel more "real" after receiving her medal along with American Noelle Pikus-Pace and bronze medallist Elena Nikitina of Russia.

Yarnold beat the rest of the field by a huge 0.97 margin over four runs at the Sanki Sliding Center on Friday night to become the fourth consecutive Olympic women's skeleton medalist from Great Britain.

And moments after her win she handed a Valentine's card to boyfriend James Roche, a sled designer with the GB bobsleigh team who was watching from a stand by the finish line.

Yarnold said: "He didn't give me a card but he gave me a box of chocolates - I'm still waiting for the card.

"I had to go through loads of protocol with sled control and doping, then once I got back to the athletes' village at midnight I had a quick bite to eat.

"The whole team were there waiting for me and there were lots of other athletes milling about the village.

"Then we went down to Rosa Khutor and we met up with everyone from UK Sport and the British Olympic Association which was nice."

Yarnold revealed that she was so relaxed she managed to sleep in between her final two runs down the Olympic track despite being on the cusp of Olympic glory.

She added: "I came back up the track, took my race suit and my helmet off, listened to Bombay Bicycle Club then had a nap.

"I don't get nervous, I know what needs to be done and I do it.

"I pride myself on my professionalism and whether I am at the gym or the sliding track I know I am there to do a job."

Heading into Friday's final two runs with a healthy lead of 0.44 over Pikus-Pace, Yarnold hurtled to a new track record on her third run to effectively seal victory with one run to spare.

Her winning margin of 0.97 left Pikus-Pace and third-placed Russian Elena Nikitina trailing and Great Britain skeleton head coach Andy Schmidt said Yarnold's passion had plenty of influence on her success.

Schmidt said: "Lizzy is so focused and she's so passionate. She has an incredible talent and what comes together is her physical and mental strengths.

"It's just an incredilble feeling. Four years after Amy (Williams), and now this - another name on gold. This is just a great achievement for British Skeleton, a great achievement for the individual athletes."

Yarnold's victory was the culmination of a journey which started five years ago when she was first introduced to skeleton after applying to a Girls4Gold talent search.

"I've worked so hard to be in this position and I'm so proud that my dreams have come true," said Yarnold.


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