Updated: Tuesday, 11 February 2014 19:46 | By Agence France-Presse

British skeleton star Yarnold inspired by heptathlete Lewis

British World Cup skeleton champion and Sochi gold medal favourite Lizzy Yarnold said on Tuesday she was inspired to succeed by the exploits of heptathlete Denise Lewis.


British skeleton star Yarnold inspired by heptathlete Lewis

Britain's Lizzy Yarnold takes part in a training session for the women's skeleton event at the Sanki Sliding Center during the Sochi Winter Olympics, on February 10, 2014 - by Lionel Bonaventure

Lewis won gold in the multi-discipline event at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and Yarnold is looking to match her feat at the 2014 Winter Games.

"I think I wanted to become an Olympian when I watched the 2000 Games when Denise Lewis competed in heptathlon," she said. 

"She had one arm in the beautiful GB sleeve and one arm just naked. And she looked magnificent. Top athlete and really strong woman."

"I think I just wanted to emulate her and when I came to skeleton at 19 I've just loved everything about it and I wanted to get better and better," she added. 

"Now I'm an Olympian and that means the dream came true for me."

But Yarnold -- hoping to match the gold medal won by compatriot Amy Williams at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, said she did not feel under particular pressure at the Sochi Games.

"I don't feel I'm under pressure here," said the 25-year-old, who topped both of Tuesday's practice runs.

"Today it was fun during the practice... and the chemistry was very positive but also lots of experiments.

"It's a good, fun track and I am really enjoying everything here so far." 

Yarnold said she hoped her usual routine would take her to Olympic gold.

"I have really simple goals, not only at the Olympics but at any World Cup competition," Yarnold said. "I just try to do my best at every single competition and training run.

"And I'm trying to be as good as I can when it comes to race day as the competition is very, very fierce and our group is very strong."

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