Shelley's mum gets best birthday present of all

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Shelley with her daughter Ella-Marie after she was crowned world champion at St Moritz in February 2013 Shelley with her daughter Ella-Marie after she was crowned world champion at St Moritz in February 2013

The mum of Pewsey’s skeleton bob champion Shelley Rudman received the best birthday present of all today - news that she has been selected for the GB Winter Olympic squad despite a raft of health problems over the past few months.

Josie Rudman, speaking from her home in Pewsey today, declined to reveal which number birthday it was. But speaking on behalf of herself and her husband Jack, she said: “It is a lovely birthday present but we haven’t given any thought to how we are going to celebrate my birthday.

"We were just concentrating on waiting for the news about Shelley.

“We are absolutely delighted she has made the team after all she’s been through. It has been one thing after another.”

Miss Rudman suffered a whiplash injury during training in Calgary in November, a bout of food poisoning which led to her collapsing on a plane and she is just getting over a chest infection.

But Mrs Rudman said she and her husband Jack are confident their daughter will be back to her best for the Olympic skeleton bob competition.

Terrorism scares, after Russian authorities announced they are looking for a suspected female suicide bomber, is less of a worry for the Rudmans. Mrs Rudman said: “I imagine there will be very tight security for the games. There are always scares surrounding big events like this.”

If it is possible the Rudmans want to be in Sochi to watch the competition if the Russian authorities will let them.

Mrs Rudman said: “It all depends on whether we can get a visa in time, so nothing is confirmed yet. But we may go to support her if we can.”

Mrs Rudman said that Miss Rudman’s six-year-old daughter, Ella-Marie, who regularly stays with her grandparents when her mother is away competing, is likely to accompany them.

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