Rudman in 2015
|Representing Great Britain|
|2013 St. Moritz||Women|
|Skeleton World Cup|
|European Bob and Skeleton Championships|
|2009 St. Moritz||Women|
|2011 St. Moritz||Women|
|2005 Innsbruck||Women's Skeleton|
|British Skeleton ranking|
|2004 -2012||Women's Skeleton|
Shelley Rudman (born 23 March 1981) is one of Britain's most successful skeleton bobsleigh athletes, the 2013 world champion in that event, an Olympic silver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in skeleton and a former World Cup and European champion.
She took up the sport of skeleton after a university friend and GB skeleton athlete Greg Kirk introduced her to the sport in October 2002 at the University of Bath push track. Rudman went for the GB skeleton development team selection at the University of Bath which would allow her to join a funded programme, but wasn't successful in making the team. At the time Rudman was working full-time at the ACS International Schools, Cobham, Surrey and also in her third year of a BSc Degree course at St Mary's College, Twickenham. She decided to apply for an Ice school in Norway run by the British military to pursue the sport and realise her dream of being selected for Great Britain by funding herself around tracks in Europe along with 2 other British servicemen.
The following season in 2003 (after having only three weeks on ice training since starting the sport), she qualified for the World Junior Championships where she finished in 10th position and highest-ranked British female. In 2004, she won the Europa Cup in Igls, Austria. In 2005, she won gold in the World University Games.
Since 2006, Rudman has been self-coaching and learning the tracks herself throughout the World Cup seasons.
2006 Winter Olympics
In order for her to take part in the 2006 Olympics, Rudman needed £4000 to pay for a new professional sled. Her home town held a special sponsored canoe event (canoeing from Pewsey to Bath where she was training) to help raise the money, and they succeeded. Rudman also spent some time as a supply teacher at Devizes School, a secondary school located in Devizes, Wiltshire.
By the time the 2006 Winter Olympics began in Turin, Rudman said she was aiming for a top 10 position; however, during a practice run she had the fastest time, even beating the World Champion at the time. This great performance in the practice run made the public become aware of her. In the first heat, she was 4th; however, after a brilliant second heat, she finished with a silver medal. Live television pictures were shown from her local pub, where a large crowd that had gathered to watch her race were cheering and celebrating her victory. The 2006 Olympics were only intended to be a stepping-stone for her as training for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
On her return to Pewsey the village put on an open top bus tour where thousands of people attended to witness her return to Pewsey. The whole event was an incredible moment of community spirit and support and one which everyone remembers in Pewsey.
Skeleton World Cup performances: 2007–2009
After a summer of media commitments from winning her Olympic Silver medal, Rudman returned to the British selection races in Lillehammer where she set an unofficial track record. During the season an ongoing knee injury flared up, causing her to have intensive knee physiotherapy to get her through the remaining World Cup rounds to keep the points up for the GB team before returning to the UK after the World Championships in St Moritz to have immediate knee surgery.
Rudman's best finish at the FIBT World Championships was 10th in the women's skeleton event at St. Moritz in 2007. She later announced that she was to become a mother in October and would be taking half the following season off.
She sat out the 2007–08 Skeleton World Cup season to give birth to her daughter Ella Marie and have a knee operation (although returned to the Inter-continental circuit in North America in January where she finished second (Park City) and won the penultimate race in Lake Placid), and made an impact on her return to the sport for the 2008–09 season. Rudman won the 2008–09 Skeleton World Cup event at Igls, Austria on 12 December 2008. She then earned her second medal of her 2008/09 World Cup campaign with a silver medal at Königssee in Germany, in January 2009.
Success continued as Rudman won the 2009 European Bob Skeleton Championships at the St Moritz track in Switzerland, breaking the track record with a time of 1:09.97 on her second run. She finished the season 2nd in the overall World Rankings published by the FIBT.
FIBT World Cup: 2009–10 season
Rudman repeated her feat of finishing the season in 2nd place overall in the World Cup, behind champion Mellissa Hollingsworth of Canada. Highlights of the season were two Gold medal wins in Cesana and St. Moritz. The season's results were;
- Round 1
- Park City, USA – 4th place
- Round 2
- Lake Placid, USA – Silver Medal (2nd place)
- Round 3
- Cesana (Torino), Italy – Gold Medal (1st place)
- Round 4
- Winterberg, Germany – 4th place
- Round 5
- Altenberg, Germany – 7th place
- Round 6
- Konigssee, Germany – Bronze Medal (3rd place)
- Round 7
- St Moritz, Switzerland – Gold Medal (1st place)
- Round 8
- Igls, Austria – 4th place
The Igls race also counted as the 2010 European Championships, and Rudman finished with the Bronze Medal in 3rd place.
2010 Winter Olympics
On 29 January 2010, Rudman was officially announced as part of the Team GB Skeleton Bobsleigh squad to compete at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.
Rudman was the flagbearer for Britain at those games.
An hour's delay to the race start affected the settings Rudman had chosen for the first run which resulted in Rudman being unusually down in the overall standings after day one. The following day after analysing and changing her settings she set the fastest time of the day, nearly breaking the track record and breaking her push start PB, and finished in first rank out of all the competitors, but the time deficit from the previous day was too much to catch up and she finished 6th overall in the women's skeleton – just missing out on claiming a second Olympic medal. The gold was won by fellow British competitor Amy Williams.
World rankings progression
- 2007–08 36th
- 2008–09 2nd
- 2009–10 2nd
- 2010–11 2nd
- 2011–12 1st
- 2012–13 7th
- 2013–14 3rd
Based on end of season FIBT rankings.
Sponsors & support
Since 2006, Rudman has used skeleton sleds designed and manufactured by partner Kristan Bromley's company, Bromley Technologies Ltd, at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP). Since 2012, Rudman has been sponsored by Mazda UK, Samsung, P&G, Adidas, BMW, King of Shaves Woman, Bacardi Breezer, Gyro.
Rudman supports the following charities:
Rudman is married to fellow British skeleton competitor Kristan Bromley, with whom she has daughters Ella-Marie Rudman-Bromley, born in October 2007, and Sofia Rudman-Bromley, born January 2015.
Rudman is a qualified personal trainer and performance coach and actively involved in encouraging people to be active and healthy.
In February 2016, Rudman was nominated to be an International Olympic Committee Athlete Role Model for the Winter Youth Olympics (YOG) in Lillehammer, Norway. This involved Rudman being out at the Youth Olympics encouraging, supporting and mentoring all the young International athletes during the event which was very successful.
- Zest Magazine 2012 'Most Inspirational Women of the year'
- Cosmopolitan Magazine Brave young and fearless nominee 2006
- Wiltshire Life Award
- BBC West Sports personality of the year Award 2006
She has appeared on the following television shows:
- Superstars 2008 – Winning team
- BBC Sports Personality of the Year
- BBC High Altitude
- BBC Ski Sunday
- A Question of Sport
- Blue Peter
- Richard & Judy
- ITV news
- BBC news
- Rudman claims World Cup gold in Igls Morethanthegames – The Online destination for Olympic sports news, 12 December 2008
- "Rudman aims to get back training". BBC Sport. 29 October 2007.
- "Shelley Rudman to miss season after announcing pregnancy". bbc.co.uk. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "Yay, skeleton team babies!!!!". twitter.com. 19 January 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- Official website
- Supporters website
- Women's skeleton Olympic medalists since 2002
- Bromley Technologies website
- Shelley Rudman at the Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing
| Flagbearer for Great Britain