Earlier this term King’s College pupil, Ed Himbury, travelled with the Great Britain squad to Lillehammer in Norway for six days to train on the Olympic bobsleigh track, and to take part in selection races for the Olympic qualifiers.
Leading the way by over one second on most runs, it quickly became evident that Great Britain was the strongest nation and, by the end of the week, there were five athletes that were the strongest starters – three British pilots, including Ed, the other two coming from Romania and Brazil.
In the first race Romania led the way with Ed, as one of the three British pilots, following in second place. The standings stayed the same after the second run, and though Ed did manage to catch some time on the Romanian, it was not enough. He took silver and another Brit took the bronze.
On the final day in the last race, Tenti, from Romania was the clear favourite. After the first run it was a clear Brit 1-2, with Mali, the Brazilian, in third and the other Brit in fourth. Places 1/2/3 were split by two tenths each, so it was all to play for.
With a quick finishing time from Mali, the pressure was placed heavily onto Ed. After his run – knowing he was fast – he had to stand and listen to the commentary at the bottom of the track, awaiting the results from the other pilots. Ed knew he had guaranteed himself a medal, but had to wait to see what colour it would be. At the final corner for the remaining Brit, Ed knew he had secured gold.
Commenting on his achievements, and of the medal ceremonies, Ed said: “We have had a fantastic time here in Lillehammer. Great Britain took 67% of all the medals, which was a record for British bobsleigh and for both senior and youth level. When I collected my gold medal, with the British national anthem playing, it was a very surreal feeling but one that left me with a huge sense of accomplishment”.
Ed now finds himself ranked number one in the world this season for the youth age group, with a score of 220. Coming away from the competition as one of the top three British athletes, Ed is now looking ahead to competing at the Olympic qualification races.