Visit From Double Olympic Gold Medallist

On Monday December 17th Lizzy Yarnold, OBE and Winter Olympics double gold medallist in the Skeleton, visited our school. Many of us were not aware of who she was and hardly any of us knew what the Skeleton was. We do now…

The Skeleton is a small sledge – think of a re-enforced tea tray and you are somewhere near it, though most tea trays do not hurtle down a steep, treacherous winding ice track at 90 mph….

On the eve of her visit Lizzy was in Birmingham at the NIA as one of the nominations for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. That meant that she was in the top six of sporting personalities voted for by the British public. She did not win it, though being in the top six from ALL top sportsmen and women in the UK was a win in itself.

On the day of her visit Lizzy presented to over 1000 of our students and many of the staff. It is unlikely that anyone who was there will forget it. Her story, both the highs and lows (there are many set backs on the way to becoming an Olympic champion) was compelling. Students asked some great questions which were all patiently answered. There was excitement when she produced her two Gold Medals which she passed to students who seemed genuinely thrilled to be handling them as, in fact, were the staff! She also fitted in a visit to the Year 10 Sports Leaders who asked some searching questions about reacting to criticism and failure as well as success.

Lizzy has been in touch since her visit to say that she loved the school and she loved our students. It is clear that her story of struggle and eventual success resonated with all of us and many students (AND staff) described her visit as “inspiring”.

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