Creighton thanked for huge contribution
Great Britain Skeleton have thanked Donna Creighton for her ‘wonderful contribution on and off the ice’ after announcing that the 31-year-old will be leaving the programme this summer.
Creighton enjoyed a medal-laden career after joining the programme via the Talent ID scheme in 2004, winning the overall Intercontinental Cup (ICC) competition in 2015 and finishing third on the same circuit this season.
The longest serving athlete among the current squad, Donna competed at five World Championships between 2009 and 2017, with her best result coming in 2011 when she placed 13th in Konigssee.
She finished on the wider World Cup podium on eight occasions and was fourth at World Cup events in Whistler, Cesana and Lake Placid in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively and was a reserve for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
“It’s been a very successful 13 years and I’ve only got fond memories of my time with the team. It’s moulded me into the person that I am today and I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had here,” said Creighton, who raced more than 100 times for her country.
“My aim was to make it to the Olympics in Pyeongchang next year but I understand that competition for places is very tough and that decision was therefore taken out of my hands.
“I would never have thought at the start of my career that I’d have been in the sport for so long, but It’s surprising that it’s been 13 years, to be honest, as it does just fly past and you don’t really realise where the time has gone.
It’s surpassed my expectations: I came from an athletics background where I’d been travelling around the South West so to have travelled around the world and met the amount of people I’ve met and built the friendships I’ve built along the way, that’s irreplaceable.
“The pinnacle for me would have been to compete in the Olympic Games but, as hard as it was, one of the highlights was being the reserve athlete at 2010 Olympics - that was an amazing experience.
“I had a really successful season the year after those Olympics so that made 2010/11 the standout season for me, although winning the overall ICC title in 2014/15 was probably my best performance because I had so many podium finishes. This season was also a highlight, particularly after Christmas, as I was on the podium in six of the eight ICC and NAC (North American Cup) races in 2017. (Creighton picked up a gold, four silvers and a bronze medal and was never outside the top five in those eight races.)
“Winning my first race in Sigulda back in 2011 was also really special, and so was my win in Whistler - one of my favourite tracks - in January 2015. Every win that I’ve had, plus the top six finishes I’ve had on the World Cup, will stay with me and I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved during my time with the sport. Everyone’s a family here.”
Donna Creighton competed at five World Championships, including 2017
A former heptathlete who also enjoyed a range of other team sports, Creighton has been a hugely positive influence both on and off the ice and GB Skeleton Performance Director, Andi Schmid, was full of praise for her contribution to the programme as a whole.
“Donna is a model athlete. She was always highly professional in everything she did and we would all like to thank her for her dedication to the team over the past 13 years,” said Schmid.
“She was always trying to push herself to the next level at a time when there was very strong competition within the women’s programme. She was always in the mix within the squad and she had a number of really good results on the World Cup circuit, finishing in the top six eight times, as well as winning gold medals on both the ICC and NAC circuits.
“To have competed at five World Championships shows her consistency and longevity in what is a physically and mentally demanding sport. It was just the last step to a World Cup medal and an Olympic place that didn’t quite happen for Donna, and that was due to the extent of the internal competition as much as anything.
It’s not only her own achievements that Donna deserves praise for: she also played a part in the success of others. She was part of a team that pushed each other on to beat the best in the world and she has also been a really positive role model for the younger generation of sliders.
She was always supportive to everyone else in the squad and that is a great trait. She showed the younger generation how to compete on the ice but also how to behave off it. She did a great job on that front as well and we are very grateful for that.”