Since swapping the long jump sandpit for icy tracks two years ago, GB skeleton athlete Kim Murray has been working towards the Winter Olympics. She recently joined PledgeSports to fundraise her Winter Olympic ambition. In her guest blog, Kim gives an exclusive behind the scenes look into the life of an athlete trying to qualify for the Winter Olympics – enjoy!
The Life Of A Winter Olympics Hopeful
After a mere two years in the sport I can safely say life as a skeleton athlete is not like anything I’d experienced before. You live two lives, one in the summer and one in the winter. May to April in Bath, England training (which is fairly normal tbh), and then October to March in who knows where sliding all over the world (very non-normal). Below are some little insights into the world of skeleton on tour…
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.
Lip balm is your best friend. I highly recommend Blistex.
Tape is life. Our sleds (and most other stuff) are all held together with rocket (Tesa) tape.
If you’re good (not me) you can look at a bolt and tell which alan key you need.
We spend a lot of time sitting in the back of open trucks, without seatbelts, being transported from the bottom to the top of the track.
Double underwear is a thing.
Mainland Europe and Americans don’t really get tea. Bring your own teabags (and kettle).
Ice can be both soft and hard. Hard ice is skiddy. Soft ice is slow.
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.
We don’t tend to wear make up for training. But, it is a must on race day, even for those of us who aren’t on TV (YouTube) #lookgoodfeelgood.
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.
Every day on-season (bar maybe one day a week) is scheduled 7am-7pm at least.
You end up washing underwear in hotel sinks on the reg.
Headbands > hats for girls. Allows for the ponytail and works as a sweatband too. If it’s a hat it must have a pom pom.
We get excited to put jeans (and sometimes make up) on once a week even though they don’t fit us properly cause of all the quad gains.
On average we each travel with 79 kg of luggage (a solid 15 kg more than my bodyweight!).
In St. Moritz we wear fur. #locals
You spend so much time away from home you start to have really random, unexplainable crushes.
Changing rooms are mixed. And a lot of nations aren’t shy and favour the skin to win approach.
In Europe a twin room is basically a double. I’ve woken up to my roomates head on my pillow before!
Losing weight is bad. Fat is fast.
Cabbage offel pancakes for dinner is my personal worst tea ever (thanks Sigulda).
It is perfectly normal to stop in the middle of a snowy car park, close your eyes and act out/visualise going down the track.
We laugh and joke about our worst hits/crashes. Crashing in certain corners is like a rite of passage.
Some people prefer packing the van to others (sorry, inside joke).
Boyfriends become more like pen pals.
Kaiserschmarrn is life. Google it.
Group chat is your best friend for keeping the family up to date.
We spend hours polishing our runners every week, yet minutes sliding on them.
The first day at a new track is THE WORST FEELING EVER #nervouspoos
PledgeSports is a revolutionary 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 and we’d love to do the same for others.