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Amy Williams: My highlights from an unforgettable Sochi Games


Gold-medal winner Lizzie Yarnold is Amy Williams's closest friend on the British team


Top of the world: Gold-medal winner Lizzie Yarnold is Amy Williams’s closest friend on the British team Photo: PA




Opening ceremony

Seeing the opening ceremony and watching all the athletes parading in behind
their flags always gets me going. I could remember what those athletes must
have felt in the Fisht Stadium and it brought special memories flooding
back. I found it quite emotional, a magical moment.

  • Sochi
    opening ceremony: From Russia with love – Swan Lake, War and Peace and
    the Russian Revolution

Lizzy
Yarnold

Being around the track, watching the whole of her event and being able to
commentate on it: that was incredibly special. To be able to celebrate with
her and hug her at trackside, it was a ‘wow’ moment to think we had done it
again four years on. She is my closest friend out here in the team, so to
see that happening was amazing.

  • Britain
    falls in love with new Winter Olympics skeleton champion

Men’s snowboard halfpipe

That was pretty incredible. I had never seen it live, but seeing those tricks,
how high they get into the air, the complexity and daring of their
acrobatics – I was completely in awe of them, thinking here were gymnasts
with snowboards on their feet, doing bigger tumbles and twists than I could
ever have imagined.

Shaun White

I got to interview the most famous man at the
Games
! He was very charismatic, a very pleasant, smiley nice guy but
I was completely surprised how, for a giant of an athlete, small he actually
was. Everyone was willing him to win the gold and I think they all recognise
that he is still the best snowboarder but the quality of the guys who beat
him on the halfpipe also showed how much the sport has come on, thanks to
his inspiration.

  • Shaun
    White’s halfpipe reign ends without a medal as Iouri Podladtchikov
    takes gold

Curling

I wish I could have seen more down at the actual Ice Cube Curling Centre but
work commitments kept me up the mountain. So I followed the progress of
David Murdoch, Eve Muirhead and their teams through my computer, phone and
iPad and you could see how the sport hypnotises the nation.

Marit Bjoergen

This Norwegian cross-country skier was astonishing and had to be considered
the star of the Games as she took her career tally to six gold medals in
all. Up at the Laura centre, I was lucky enough to watch her win one of her
three gold medals here, an amazing achievement considering what this
incredibly tough sport takes out of its athletes.

  • Norwegian
    ‘Iron Lady’ Marit Bjoergen sets new benchmark in taking women’s 30k
    cross country gold

German lugers

Germany picked up all four gold medals in the luge events and in the same way
that the Dutch dominated the long-track speed skating, you could only admire
that sort of excellence and domination. As a slider, I was especally
impressed: they were just phenomenal, a cut above the rest.

The venues

I have been amazed how fantastic was every venue I have seen. There have been
a lot of scruffy, unfinished areas here at the Games but whenever you reach
a competition venue, they have been pristine and outstanding. The Sanki
sliding track must be the best in the world, I have never seen one so good.

It has a walkway the whole way down the side for coaches, lights along the
length of it too and proper preparation areas. Russia have done themselves
proud on this score. Every athlete I have talked to has said the same.

Reflections of gold

It has been very different not being an athlete here but being on the other
side. There have been highs and lows and emotional times for me but the more
I watched amazing these athletes in action and saw how difficult it was for
them to strike gold, the more it hit me that I had managed to achieve that
in Vancouver too, and that gave me a sense of peace, pride and happiness.

It made me realise how much I have enjoyed being around to help the next
generation of athletes. Sochi has been an experience that I will never
forget.


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Amy Williams: My highlights from an unforgettable Sochi Games

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