Winter Olympian Shelley Rudman, who has made a quick visit to Pewsey after her sliding exploits in Russia, said the Sochi Games experience was the best she had ever had.

She said: “It was really incredible. It is the best Olympic experience I have ever had. All the people were surprisingly friendly and the volunteers were wonderful.”

Eight years ago, Miss Rudman became an overnight star after winning the silver medal in the skeleton bob, and put the sport of sliding on a tea-tray on everyone’s radar.

This time Miss Rudman, 32, could only manage 16th place on the technical course at the Sanki Sliding Centre, but that did not dim her enthusiasm for her sport or her enjoyment of taking part in a third Winter Olympics.

She praised Lizzy Yarnold for taking gold and said she was delighted that skeleton was still making headlines.

Miss Rudman and her fiance, fellow skeleton slider Kristan Bromley, arrived in Pewsey at 9pm on Monday, to be met by an ecstatic welcoming committee led by their six-year-old daughter, Ella.

Miss Rudman said: “She was really thrilled to see us. She had been watching all of the skeleton events on the television and was really looking forward to us coming home.

“She was so excited, we let her stay up way past her bedtime, so we could all be together for a little while.”

Also delighted to see their daughter back in her home village were her parents, Jack and Josie Rudman, who have been looking after Ellie while her parents were competing.

Mr Rudman said: “We are very proud of her and it was lovely to see her for a little while.”

Miss Rudman said that, luckily, it was half-term week back in Sheffield, where her family now lives, so they would have a few days to spend with Ella before she went back to school on Monday. She said: “The school have been very good about Ella missing some time while we have been away.

“She is well up with all her work, so I don’t think it hurts. She is very adaptable and I am sure she will soon be back into her routine.”

Miss Rudman is planning to take about six weeks away from intensive training, then get back to hard work ready for next season.

She has not ruled out competing in four years time, in Pyeongchang, and said: “We will just have to wait and see how it goes.”

She was also non-committal about the possibility of having a second child.

The slider said: “There is nothing planned at the moment.”