World Challenge Ambassador Lizzy Yarnold has announced that she is taking a season-long break from competition but hopes to come back and be the first slider and the first British Winter Olympian to defend her title in PyeongChang in 2018.
Speaking about the decision, Lizzy said: “I’m really pleased my coaching team and I have decided that I should remain in the UK this season. Coming off the back of my win in Sochi it was hard to re-motivate myself, but I had the Grand Slam in my sights and wanted so desperately to be World Champion that it saw me through. It wasn’t until I returned home that I realised I was emotionally fatigued – more than the usual end-of-season exhaustion – so I asked my team if we could approach this year differently.
“Naturally I would have loved to defend my World title this year, and it will be hard to watch others compete without me, but I really feel like this is the right time for me to refresh, take stock and come back even more motivated for the future.”
Lizzy will remain in training in the UK but will not be involved in the eight World Cup races and annual World Championships in 2015/16. But she has no intention of letting her standards slip during the season off and is confident she can return to the circuit better than ever before.
“I have a training programme set for me over the winter so I will still be working hard even though I won’t be on the circuit. I won’t be putting my feet up and relaxing, unfortunately!
“I’d like to thank my coaches, the BBSA, UK Sport and the National Lottery for their ongoing support – it is great to know they have faith in my ability and in my motivation as an athlete to know what I need to do to get my body and mind fit for the next Olympic cycle.”
Lizzy knows that other British sliders will be desperate to catch her up this year:
“I have no doubt the British Team will do brilliantly this year. I’ll be cheering them on from back home and genuinely hope Laura, Donna and the guys all progress and fulfil their potential. I thrive off having intense competition and knowing that people can beat me if I put a foot wrong. It helps spur me on to be the best that I can be and I know that if the competition improves during this season it will help me be a better competitor when I get back on ice.”