mc_squared Posted February 20, 2010 Share Posted February 20, 2010 Britain wins first Olympic gold in 30 years as Amy Williams slides her way to glory in skeleton By Daily Mail Reporter Last updated at 7:48 AM on 20th February 2010 Comments (26) Add to My Stories Britain ended a 30-year wait for a solo Winter Olympic gold medal today after Amy Williams slid her way to glory in the skeleton bob. The 27-year-old from Bath was more than half a second quicker than the rest of the field at Vancouver 2010 after the final heat. She becomes Britain's first gold medallist in an individual discipline at the Winter Olympics since ice skater Robin Cousins, who triumphed at Lake Placid in 1980. Gold medalist Amy Williams is carried by Germany's bronze medalist Anja Huber (L) and silver medalist Kerstin Szymkowiak Winner: Amy Williams picked up Britain's first individual Winter Olympic gold medal for 30 years today Williams, nicknamed 'curly wurly' because of her frizzy hair, hugged team-mates and wrapped herself in a Union Flag after her win at the track in Whistler, Canada She was leading going into the fourth and final run, and held off Kerstin Szymkowiak from Germany She also beat the home favourite Mellisa Hollingsworth, who ended up fifth - and survived a protest against the legality of her helmet More... ROBERT HARDMAN: As Canada's Olympics are branded 'the worst ever', what lessons can Britain learn for 2012? Her win marks Britain's first medal at this year's Winter Olympics. Williams' team-mate Shelley Rudman, who won a silver at Turin four years ago, missed out on the podium this year. Williams described her triumph as 'crazy'. She told the BBC: 'I am absolutely speechless. It's all a blur. I can't even remember half of it. 'I just came out the bottom and looked at my coach.' Amy waves at the finish during the final run of the women's skeleton Enlarge Golden girl: Amy in action on the skeleton The athlete - whose sled is called Arthur - was competing at her first Winter Olympics. She reputedly complained of 'not really liking it' after her first go on the skeleton, but she managed to win a silver medal after entering the World Push Championships in 2002. Last year she won a silver medal in the World Championships and another silver in the World Cup race in Whistler, Canada. Her Olympic triumph continues a fine run of British skeleton sliding since the sport was reintroduced to the Winter Olympics at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. Alex Coomber won bronze eight years ago, followed up by Rudman's silver. Rudman finished sixth this year. Skeleton's international governing body rejected a protest filed on Thursday by the United States team which claimed that ridges on Williams' helmet gave her an illegal aerodynamic advantage. But International Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Federation jury president Wolfgang Strauss said the helmet's manufacturer confirmed the ridges were 'an integral part' and it was ruled legal for racing. Williams led from the first round, also setting the fastest time in the third heat. Andy Hunt, Team GB's chef de mission in Vancouver, paid tribute to her performance. He said: 'It was absolutely extraordinary. It's a great night for Amy, and great night for Team GB. We are delighted for her. 'Right from the outset she was in the lead and she maintained that throughout. It's just an extraordinary achievement.' Mr Hunt also praised her focus after the protest was made. 'She absolutely kept her cool and kept her focus and look what she delivered.' UK Sport chief executive of UK Sport John Steele added: 'It takes a lot of endeavour, sacrifice and team work to become an Olympic champion and I would like to congratulate Amy, British Skeleton and all those behind the scenes who have contributed to this success.' British Skeleton received a record £2.1m of lottery and exchequer funding for Vancouver through UK Sport. Amy's proud parents Ian and Jan congratulate their daughter after her record-breaking win Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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