Interview with Monobob athlete – Felicity Bee

Felicity Bee is a lifelong athlete, representing Great Britain and Wales internationally throughout school and university.  She has recently moved to completely new discipline – Monobob (solo female in a 130km/h bobsleigh)  Felicity aims compete at the Olympics in Beijing (2022) and Milan (2026).  There no funding for this new event so Felicity is currently hoping to raise money on PledgeSports.

How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected you?

As a medical student I think I have had a slightly different experience of Covid-19 to many athletes. I spent the first few weeks still working in hospitals and then proceeding to do
preparatory training ready to volunteer. My medical school finals that were due to be carried out in May were cancelled and there was a strange moment of realisation that my fast paced life of
university work and training was going to change over the next few months.

I am a highly self-motivated and driven individual but covid-19 has given an unprecedented uncertainty, and this is something that I am sure many people can relate to. I remain sensitive to the affect Covid-19 has had on so many individuals and the NHS, but I always stay positive.

How did it affect your training?

I think many would agree that amongst the chaos of Covid there has been a great demonstration of community and this leads me to a funny story…

A large aspect of bobsleigh is strength and power therefore the closure of gyms was going to cause difficulty, I put a message on my local town’s facebook page to ask if anyone knew where I could locate a barbell and weights in order to continue my training. Within hours I received many messages of people trying to help out and success came in the form of the local vicar whose son had a barbell lying around in the garage from back when he did powerlifting.

I have therefore been fortunate to have weights accessible to continue lifting and I have done all my running sessions on grass. I still continue to train six times a week and have enjoyed having that extra time to focus on mobility and prehab that I so often neglect.  The biggest effect by far is not training with others and missing the training partners who give you the positive energy during the really tough sessions and the encouragement to strive for better.

Any good motivation tips for people out there finding it hard to get back into fitness again after all this?

I think first and foremost, Covid has given light on the importance of our health, and I think that should provide motivation for people to get active. However motivation is not always a driving
force and incorporating a form of exercise or sport into your life that you enjoy makes it much easier to commit to and become disciplined to just get it done.

I am a strong believer that in the same way everyone has a favourite style of music, there is a sport for everyone, and this can be an opportunity to rekindle or discover a form of exercise you enjoy. Set small achievable goals and enjoy the journey of achieving them. Don’t focus on rushing the process of getting fit or losing weight and enjoy the fact you are being active and improving yourself.

What did you specialise in before you got into Winter Sports?

Similar to many bobsledders on the international stage I am a former international javelin thrower. A speed and power based discipline, the transfer wasn’t too different in terms of training however they both have a huge technical aspect. My athletics background has
given me a lot of the core fundamentals in terms of athleticism and being a coachable and competitive athlete.

How did you get into the great sport of Bobsleigh?

I was introduced to bobsleigh around 18 months ago at the push track in Bath. With a natural aptitude for the strength and power based sport I was then sent to France to learn to drive and invited to trials where I gained selection for the GB team.

Being in the UK makes the introduction to bobsleigh a strange one, one day you are learning to push a sled in the warmth of a track in Bath and next you are stood at the top of a mountain with a series of corners memorised, hoping you get to the bottom without ending up on your head.

Turns out I could drive and I found the adrenalin rush addictive. I have now completed a very successful first season on the international circuit, with a top 8 finish and an encouraging set
of results.

The Monobob is only new, we only heard about it through you!  How did this come about?

Monobob was introduced in 2018 and will make its debut into the Olympic programme at Beijing 2022. The sport of bobsleigh has always been biased towards the men’s events with men having 2 and a 4-man and the women originally only having 2-man (which I shall also be competing in).

The different Winter Olympic sports explained

Monobob requires an individual to push and pilot a 170kg sled (the same weight as the men’s 2-man sled).  Monobob was introduced as an innovative and exciting opportunity to increase the exposure and participation of women’s sport.

It’s introduction to the Olympic programme aligns with my passion for women’s sport and I hope that through the success of this adrenaline fuelled, amazing event I can add to the ongoing drive to encourage all women to get involved in sport, find the fun in being active and feel empowered to achieve their goals.

To support Felicity visit her – Sponsorship Page

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