Winter Olympics: Yarnold plays it cool on retirement talk

Yahoo Sport UK
Lizzy Yarnold and Laura Deas celebrate with their medals (Andy J Ryan/Team GB)
Lizzy Yarnold and Laura Deas celebrate with their medals (Andy J Ryan/Team GB)

Double Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold played it as cool as the ice she slides on when asked about her plans for the future.

The 29-year-old added another chapter to her already golden career on Saturday when she became the first Brit to successfully defend a Winter Olympic title.

Already a winner of all the major global titles following her World and European success in 2015, Yarnold returned from a season-long sabbatical the following year, citing her Olympic defence as her main motivation.

But with that now ticked off and little else to achieve in the sport, are retirement plans on the horizon for Britain’s most decorated Winter Olympian?

“I think I’ll take a break. I need to get over my chest infection first. I’ll take a good break and get back to you,” she said when asked about whether that could have been her last competitive race.

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“I feel very motivated today, as I did four years ago and I feel that I can jump back on the sled.

“But I’d recommend any athlete to take a break. It’s a four-year cycle and, even though it’s tempting and you’re desperate to carry on, it’s a long time to be at your best.


“I’m looking forward to being home, remembering that I’m a terrible cook and asking my husband James to cook the dinner.”

Yarnold infamously celebrated her Sochi gold with a cup of tea. The morning after the night before in Pyeongchang, she was found knitting while indulging in Australian drama television series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix. A woman of contrasts she certainly is.

In the short term, the Sliding Queen intends to visit as many schools as possible to keep inspiring the next generation. And for the adrenalin rush to go with it? Well that could well be throwing herself out of the sky.

“I did a sky dive a couple of years ago and it was an amazing feeling of freedom,” she added. “It’s quite similar to the skeleton. You’re on your way and not a lot you can do for it, hold on and hope for the best. So maybe a bit more skydiving.

“After Sochi, my most important thing was visiting schools. That’s certainly top my list again. I certainly wouldn’t pursue celebrity status.

“My gold medal is like Frodo’s ring, getting to see the children’s faces light up. If I can be role model to them that’s the most important thing.”

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