PledgeSports have the pleasure of working with some phenomenal athletes and teams. Every Friday we will choose one of them as the PledgeSports “Athlete of the Week”.
This week’s winner is British skeleton athlete, Kim Murray. After a successful fundraising campaign in 2015 saw Kim raise over £2,500, 28-year-old Kim has returned to PledgeSports as she focuses on making her Winter Olympic dream a reality.
For those of you meeting Kim for the first time, her background in sport actually began in the sand pit as she competed as an international long-jumper.
But, after being selected for the Power2Podium talent programme in 2015, she has applied her powerful athleticism to ice and hasn’t looked back since – having just completed her first full competitive racing season, representing Great Britain in the Europa Cup and finishing 5th in the overall standings!
The past two years have been a steep learning curve for Kim, but based on her overall results it seems she’s settled in extremely well on the circuit. Kim shared with us some of the things she’s learned in her new life as a skeleton athlete.
“On-season, it takes an inordinate time to dress and undress thanks to the many, many layers you wear outside. The lowest temperature I have experienced is -25 in Calgary. The weather helps determine whether the ice is hard or soft and how quick the track will be on a given day. Cue obsession with the weather forecast. Ice can be both soft and hard. Hard ice is skiddy. Soft ice is slow,” says Kim.
Skeleton athletes travel headfirst at speeds of up to 140km/h, all the while the only protection they have against a crash is their helmets. It’s a dangerous sport from the viewpoint of any spectator, but what does Kim say about her high-speed passion?
“We hit icy concrete walls at the speed a car drives on a motorway (maybe not as fast as German’s on the Autobahn, though). This can lead to bruises which mean you can’t straighten your arm for two weeks.
“I’ve had a couple crashes, one causing a concussion, but nothing worse. You’re always on the edge in this sport, it is part of it. I crashed out of my first race this season in Sigulda which was gutting. I actually crashed because I got something right and was travelling faster than usual and didn’t deal with it appropriately. Up until that point, the race was going really well!
“(For shin splints) stand on your toes on the edge of a step. Shift your weight to your right leg, take your left foot off the step, and lower your right heel down. Return to start, and then repeat with your left leg.
“(For recovery) I use a lot of magnesium salt baths and arnica gel to keep aches and pains at bay when I am sliding. I use the magnesium range from ‘Better You’,” said Kim.
It has come to the point in Kim’s career where she must invest in equipment to further assist her development. Up until now, a lot of the equipment Kim is using has been given to her on loan.
She is aiming to raise £1,750 – this funding is a huge factor in Kim reaching her potential and adding another Winter Olympic medal to Great Britain’s collection.
If you would like to support Kim on her quest for Beijing 2022 please visit her fundraising page here.
Kim Murray’s Fun Facts
What’s your favourite colour?
I think it would be sky blue.
How fast can you go?
My PB speed is 124 kph from 2015, and I hit 122 kph on a slower track in Lillehammer last month. I love going fast, it is one of my strengths as a slider.
Saturday night in, book or movie?
Book, I love reading and am always keen for book recommendations if anyone has any.
If you won the lotto tomorrow what would you do?
Apart from going on an exotic holiday and a shopping spree? Employ someone to look after and carry my sled around on circuit! It weighs just under 30 kg as is a pain to lug around everywhere! I’d also get a house in Bath so that I’m not homeless over winter!
PledgeSports is a crowdfunding & sponsorship platform dedicated to sport.
Are you or someone you know seeking funding for Winter Sports or Winter Olympics? We have helped many winter sports athletes raise tens of thousands (here’s just one example!) and we’d love to help you do the same.