British Skeleton – on a journey to further greatness
In February 2022, four to six British athletes will be careering down a Beijing ice track at over 90 miles per hour in the quest for more medals and more glory for the British Skeleton team. Ignite have sponsored the Talent Squad for eight years and have had the privilege of witnessing this incredible team of leaders, coaches and athletes repeatedly achieve remarkable success against all the odds.
There is much that we can learn from the secrets of their success, and certainly much that can be applied to organisations outside the world of elite sport. Over the following months we will be interviewing these very people; monitoring their progress and sharing the insight as they prepare for the opportunity to do their country proud. Everyone from sports enthusiasts to business leaders will benefit from understanding the magic that goes into creating the kind of high-performance environment that delivers Olympic success time and time again.
Whilst the sport of Skeleton has been around since 1882, the modern era began with the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah, and it is an astonishing fact that Britain has won medals in every single Games since then. We have accumulating seven in total – more than any other country on the planet. We peaked in Pyeongchang in 2018 where Lizzie Yarnold won gold for the second time, and Laura Deas and Dom Parsons both won bronze, collectively seizing 50% of the available medals.
With no track of our own and limited opportunities to practise on ice, the team have relied on establishing the leadership, resourcefulness, mentality, focus, skills, and creativity that has been unmatched by any of our competitors in repeatedly delivering success across the past two decades. Through being confident to continuously challenge the status quo, the programme has fully embraced innovation to achieve and sustain world class performance and stay ahead of the curve. Critically the team have always retained its own unique identity and ethos throughout this period of success.
The road to Beijing
The time between now and the Winter Olympics in February 2022 will be split into two distinct phases:
- April to September – based at the sport HQ in Bath, athletes and coaches will be focused on conditioning, technique, and planning to the finest detail.
- October to January – the athletes will be on the world circuit, competing to gain a place at the Olympics whilst ensuring that they are doing everything they can to ensure they reach their peak just at the time for Beijing in February.
We will conduct interviews and release the insights every few weeks before the Olympics. The interviews will be conducted with some of the leaders, coaches and athletes of the British Skeleton team. Within these interviews we will explore what they are currently focusing upon, how they are feeling, and to what extent those critical ingredients are in place that will enable them to deliver the kind of performance they need to achieve Olympic success. And if you want to get a sense as to what the new track at Beijing will be like, here is sneak preview of what our athletes will have to contend with: https://www.facebook.com/IBSFsliding/videos/927328141429074