Interview with gold medal winning skeleton star Amy Williams
realbuzz.com chats with GB skeleton gold medalist Amy Williams
Skeleton star Amy Williams became Britain’s first solo gold medalist at the Winter Olympics for 30 years when she returned from Vancouver 2010 triumphant. On writing this article she is in St Moritz for a World Cup qualification race having made a sound return to the ice by winning bronze in the European Championships in Winterberg Germany.
Here's what she had to say when realbuzz.com caught up with her on everything from her training to her drive to succeed.
Q. First of all congratulations on your bronze in Germany, what did that do for your confidence leading up to the World Cup?
A. Yeah, I got confidence from getting the result and knowing that I'm still up there with the best in the world. [It was good] learning and getting back into sliding. I am so far behind [the other competitors] in the number of runs I have had this season so I'm really pleased. I wasn't expecting to do that well.
Q. What was your inspiration, how did you get into the skeleton?
A. I was very lucky to live in the right place at the right time. I wanted to be an athlete and tried sprinting but I knew I wasn't going top succeed or be good enough. I was very fortunate that I live in bath and stumbled upon the push track. I gave it go and discovered that I was pretty quick at it. I paid my own way to go to the push World Championships in Holland and it was a natural progression from there. I was invited by the team to have a go at the real thing on the ice. You enjoy it and you want to be good and to get better and better. And that's when that drive overtakes that you always want to improve. I guess I haven't stopped since that first day.
Q. How are your efforts to qualify for World Championships going?
A. We arrived late last night in St Moritz. So I'm here now and we race at the end of the week. I have two more races [before the champs] I basically have to get good results, in these few races ... to qualify for World Championships. It's the USA, Russia and GB who are competing for the last place. I wasn't expecting to go knowing that I've missed 50 percent of the races. I am feeling confident.
Q. You must have a pretty hectic schedule, what you do on your days off?
A. Days off are very rare! Today is technically a day off! I've just been to the track and walked the track, watching some sliding. Generally on a day off you're in the gym doing physical training and trying to catch up or your prepping your sled ready for the next day. You may be travelling it sort of doesn't really exist as a complete day off. You might find time for an hour to sit in a coffee shop with a friend but there is always something to be doing. Training your body, getting your sled ready and watching people slide. There is always something.
Q. Having succeeded at the pinnacle of your sport in Vancouver do you have any advice for athletes hoping to compete in 2012.
A. It's a home Games and from what I saw in Vancouver that put so much pressure on some of the Canadian athletes who just didn't perform. I really hope that people can see that the athletes put pressure on themselves to perform at their best and let them enjoy the fact that's in Great Britain. If you train and work hard enough and you're good enough on the day the results will come. Just don't get too psyched up and do what you would always do.
Q. Finally, where does your drive to succeed come from?
A. You need to always enjoy what you're doing. [I'll compete] So long as I feel I can perform better and be stronger and faster and still feel like I've got something to give in the sport - until the day comes where I wake up and feel there is nothing to give inside me.