Lizzy Yarnold

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Lizzy Yarnold
Personal information
Full name Elizabeth Anne Yarnold
Nickname(s) Lizzy
The Yarnold
Nationality British
Born (1988-10-31) 31 October 1988 (age 26)
Sevenoaks, Kent, England[2]
Residence Bath, Somerset[2]
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[1]
Weight 70 kg (154 lb)[1]
Country  United Kingdom
Sport Skeleton
Coached by Eric Bernotas[3]

Elizabeth Anne Yarnold MBE (born 31 October 1988) is a British skeleton racer who joined the national squad in 2010. She won the 2013–14 Skeleton World Cup (only once finishing off the podium the whole season), followed by a gold in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.[5][6]


Yarnold was educated at St Michael's Preparatory School, an independent school in the village of Otford in Kent,[7] followed by Maidstone Grammar School for Girls in the Kent county town of Maidstone, where she became Head Girl,[8] and the University of Gloucestershire.[9]

Introduction to skeleton[edit]

Yarnold was initially a heptathlete. She was inspired to take up the sport after watching Denise Lewis at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.[6]

In 2008 Yarnold took part in UK Sport's Girls4Gold talent search scheme.[10] Initially she thought she would be suitable for a sport involving horses but UK Sport identified skeleton as a good option.[11][10] She began competing in 2010; winning her first official race in the Europa Cup at Igls in November. The next day she had her second win.[1]

In subsequent seasons Yarnold has honed her skeleton-racing skills, learned courses, and achieved the athletic performance required to compete at World Cup level. She finished the 2011/12 season in 9th position[12] and became junior World Champion and a bronze medallist in the senior World Championships in 2012.[1]

Her sled is named Mervyn after a former work colleague of hers, Mervyn Sugden.[12]

Yarnold lives in Bath, Somerset in a flat owned by ex-skeleton athlete and Olympic gold medallist in the 2010 Winter Olympics, Amy Williams.

2013/14 season[edit]

From the first world cup practice run of the Olympic season it was apparent that Yarnold had found a new level of competitiveness, consistently topping timing sheets. She won the opening race in Calgary in controversial circumstances when the US athlete Noelle Pikus-Pace was disqualified for a technical infringement. This set the scene for a season-long duel with Pikus-Pace. Yarnold eventually secured the World Cup Championship at the last race of the season in Königssee[12] and the Olympic gold medal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, ahead of Pikus-Pace by 0.97 seconds.[6] The Olympic performance was remarkable as she had the fastest run of each of the four runs and set new track records on her first and third run. Yarnold's gold was the tenth gold medal ever achieved by British athletes in 90 years of Winter Olympics competition. It also ensured that Great Britain had won a medal in the Women's Skeleton in every Winter Olympics since the event was introduced.

Yarnold was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to skeleton racing.[13]

FIBT rankings[edit]

Yarnold has ranked on the FIBT rankings since the 2010–11 season.[14]

  • 2010–11 35th
  • 2011–12 9th
  • 2012–13 6th
  • 2013–14 1st
  • 2014–15 1st


  1. ^ a b c d e "Lizzy Yarnold". Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Lizzy Yarnold". Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Yarnold, Lizzy (15 January 2015). "Lizzy Yarnold column: I couldn't get going after dizzy spells". Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Lizzy Yarnold crowned European skeleton champion in Austria". 8 February 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "FIBT ranking - skeleton women - Yarnold, Elizabeth". FIBT. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Hope, Nick (14 February 2014). "Lizzy Yarnold wins Sochi 2014 gold for Great Britain". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  7. ^ St. Michael's Preparatory School - Lizzy Yarnold. Publisher: St. Michael's School, Otford, Kent. Retrieved: 14 March 2014.
  8. ^ Lizzy Yarnold wins Winter Olympics skeleton gold and urges fans to follow their dreams. Claire Carter. The Daily Telegraph. 14 February 2014. Retrieved: 14 March 2014.
  9. ^ Lizzy Yarnold - Great Britain Skeleton Athlete Retrieved: 14 March 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Lizzy's story - Spotlight on Girls4gold graduate Lizzy Yarnold". UK Sport. 13 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "Golden girl Yarnold only took up skeleton five years ago". UK Eurosport. 14 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c "Sliding for gold: skeleton Athlete Lizzy Yarnold". 13 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  13. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60895. p. b26. 14 June 2014.
  14. ^ "Skeleton Women FIBT ranking". Retrieved 15 February 2014. 

External links[edit]