PEWSEY'S Shelley Rudman will compete in her third successive Winter Olympic Games next month after being confirmed as one of two Team GB representatives for the women's skeleton this morning.
Rudman, a silver medallist on her debut in Turin in 2006 and sixth in Vancouver four years agon, will be joined by current World Cup series leader Lizzy Yarnold as Britain aims to continue its record of winning a medal at every Olympic women's skeleton event since the discipline became a full part of the Olympic programme in 2002.
The selection of the Wiltshire slider, who was crowned world champion for the first time in her career last February, was widely expected, but the 32 year old said: “I am delighted to be selected for Team GB for my third Winter Olympics and take great pride in that achievement alone.
"When I started out in skeleton I would never have thought that was possible.
"My first Games in Turin in 2006 where I won the silver medal was a hugely positive experience for me, Vancouver in 2010 was disappointing after I just missed out on a medal – so going into Sochi I hope I will be able to merge all my experiences from the last two Olympiads to give myself the best possible chance of success.
"I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me up to now and I hope I will make you all proud in these Olympic Winter Games, whatever the outcome may be.”
Rudman's fiance Kristan Bromley will contest the men's event - his fourth Olympic Games - alongside Bath-based Dominic Parsons and Sochi 2014 Team GB Chef de Mission Mike Hay said: "Going into these Olympic Winter Games with a current world champion in Shelley, and Lizzy (Yarnold) having had a straight run of seven podiums, four of them gold medals on the skeleton world cup circuit, will surely make for some exciting competition in Sochi.
"Add that to that the fact that a skeleton athlete has medalled at the last three Games and I think we will have all eyes on the track come 13th, 14th and 15th of February when our women and men compete."
Nigel Laugthon, Team GB Skeleton Team Leader and Skeleton Performance Director, added:“I am delighted that we have such a strong skeleton squad representing Team GB at the Olympic Winter Games.
"Collectively, our season has been excellent, with medals and top six results at every World Cup, and hence the athletes will arrive in Sochi ready, prepared and confident ahead of this exhilarating competition.
"The team of athletes selected encompass a healthy balance of experience, previous Olympic success, youth and outstanding current form, and while for Lizzy and Dom this will be their first Olympics, for Shelley and Kristan - their third and fourth respectively - incredible achievements in their own right.''
MORE ON THIS STORY IN THIS WEEK'S GAZETTE & HERALD, OUT TOMORROW