Retiring champ thanks fans

Retiring champ thanks fans

Double Olympic Champion Lizzy Yarnold has thanked her fellow athletes, family members, coaches and fans after announcing her retirement from skeleton.

Britain’s most successful Winter Olympian has broken barriers and rewritten records throughout her decade-long skeleton career but - as ever - she was quick to praise all the people who have played a part in her stunning success story.

“I couldn’t have done it without the many team members over the years, the BBSA, TeamGB, UK Sport, the EIS (English Institute of Sport) and all the fellow athletes I have trained with and met along the way,” said Yarnold.

“The British fans have been instrumental in driving me to perform better over the years and I will never forget the support I have had along the way.”

Yarnold admits the decision to step away from the ice was a difficult one given the success she has enjoyed and the friendships she has made but she knows now is the right time.

But, while she plans to enjoy time relaxing with those closest to her in the coming weeks, she is determined to ensure she still has a positive influence on a sport - and a team - she loves dearly.

“It’s a really emotional time to step away from something I have dedicated a third of my life to but I am looking forward to the road ahead, to spending time with my amazing family and friends,” added Yarnold.

“To be able to race for my country on the World Cup circuit was one thing and to step onto the ice at an Olympic Games another, especially holding the flag for my team this year. Of course, to be the first GB winter athlete to retain their Olympic title was an incredible feeling.

I will now make sure I give back to my sport, to the younger athletes and to the next generation in whatever dream they want to take up.

“I truly believe there is something out there for everyone. Skeleton found me and, if you put your mind to it, with hard work, something you love will find you as well. Make sure you chase your dream!”

Click here for Lizzy's video message to her fans.