Steel City stars setting sights on Sochi success

Sheffield is home to four Winter Olympians all in with a strong chance of returning from Sochi with a medal

Sheffield's Shelley Rudman training at Bath University, Bath. (Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire)

Despite this country winning just three medals this century at Winter Games, it is not a stretch to suggest the Steel City competitors alone could eclipse that.

One of those to win a surprise medal for Britain in the past was Shelley Rudman, who, along with husband Kristan Bromley, is a genuine medal hope in the skeleton in Sochi.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Rudman, 32, won silver in Turin in 2006, but goes into what will be her third Games as the world champion and better than ever.

Bromley, himself a former world champion, may be 41, but is driven by his desire to win the only medal that still eludes him, an Olympic one.

Bromley is known as ‘Doctor Ice’ because to compensate for the lack of ice shoots to practice their sport on, he utilises the technology around him at the duo’s base at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Sheffield, to get the edge on his rivals.

Slopestyle is new to the Winter Olympics and Sheffield is home to two young prospects who are targeting the podium.

James Woods, 21, is the reigning World Cup champion and among the favourites next February in slopestyle skiing.

And freestyle skier Katie Summerhayes, 18, is a World Cup medallist and was fourth at last season’s world Championships.

The two, whose sports are new to the Olympic programme, are coached by Pat Sharples, who continues the Yorkshire connection as he was born in Bradford.

One thing that could hinder Summerhayes’s preparations, is the fact that the teenager is still on crutches after knee surgery.

But, Sharples said: “I don’t think the injury is going to be a negative thing because she’s worked really hard on her fitness so she can come back stronger.

“Obviously, there’s been a little less time to prepare for the upcoming events.

“But knowing Katie as I do, she’ll bounce back quickly and I’m convinced we’ll have her 100 per cent fit by the time we get to the start of the winter season in December.”