Lizzy Yarnold Wins Britain’s First Gold But WTF Is The Skeleton?

She won by 0.97 seconds, leaving America and Russia trailing behind


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Lizzy Yarnold has just won Team GB’s first Gold medal at the Sochi Winter Games 2014. Sliding down a freezing cold (well, minus 7 degrees centigrade) track on a carbon fibre and steel sled nicknamed Mervyn, the 25-year-old withstood speeds of up to 90mph and g force of 5 to get her medal. Fending off competititors from much bigger, snow-laden countries such as Canada, Russia and the USA, she led every round by at least .44 of a second. and eventually won at .97 seconds ahead of American Noelle Pikus-Pace and Russian Elena Nikitina.


As soon as Lizzy slid past the red line, she waved a GB flag about as her fans in the crowd did a little cry underneath all their layers of clothes and hats and scarves. Aw. Speaking to BBC Sport, she said 'I'm just so chuffed I'm Olympic champion. My fourth run I was totally relaxed and enjoyed it. It was a bit of a messy one but I'm just so thrilled I got myself here after five years hard work. As an athlete you do so much hard work, but it's worth it for days like this.' Double aw.

But WTF is the skeleton? Here are some crib notes. Well, it’s called the skeleton because the sled that people use on the track looks like a skeleton. If you squint really hard. It was invented in 1882 and is based on toboganning. It's also the one thing that Britain does consistently well at - every time it has featured in an Olympic Games, we get a medal.

Also, just FYI, if you're wondering how on earth people get into skeleton, Lizzy got into it through a UK Sport-backed programme called Girls4Gold, which is very heartening to hear.

Follow Lizzy on Twitter @TheYarnold

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Pictures: Getty

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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