Season Overview

2013 / 2014 SEASON

Ice Coaches: Myself
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Mark Campbell
Sled and Performance Technology: Bromley
Sponsors: Mazda, Bromley and P&G

Shelley comments:
My summer’s training went really well and I was fortunate enough to be pre-selected on to the World Cup squad based on my past season’s performances of winning the overall WC title and World Championships. All was flowing really well out in Lillehammer, Norway which is where we all start the season off ahead of International racing.

In the first World cup in Calgary, Canada I was on my first training run down the track, but during the run I jarred my neck quite badly going over a bump and ended up with whiplash which I then had to manage for the remaining season. It had quite an impact on my sliding and because of it I wasn’t settled on the sled throughout the WC races, and this showed in my results.

I suffered food poisoning on the flight home from North America at the end of December and then a few days later I acquired my annual chest infection… my season definitely was full of interesting events!

But, despite all that was against me, I kept battling against the odds for my quest to represent my country at my third Olympics in Sochi 2014 – because it’s not every day you get such an incredible opportunity like that.

Too be continued…

Shelley Rudman © Charlie Booker

2012 / 2013 SEASON

Ice Coaches: Myself
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Mark Campbell
Sled and Performance Technology: Bromley
Sponsors: Mazda and Bromley

Shelley comments:
This season I was targeting the World Championships at the end of the season in St Moritz, Switzerland. It had been a two year goal – to attempt winning a medal on my favourite track in the world and one where the birth of our sport took place would be an incredible achievement.

After suffering a hamstring injury, chest infection (again), and flu, the season wasn’t the best one I’ve ever had, but there were some great result highlights! In Germany, I won the Winterberg World Cup race and set a new track record! I also won another keg of beer!

But, my best achievement by far was winning the World Championship title and being the first British woman to do so! I did everything possible to be in the right frame of mind and shape to race well over two days and it finally all came together. I received so many messages of congratulations from friends, family and supporters all over the world, and my daughter Ella was also there to experience the whole thing with me which was just brilliant.

Shelley Rudman © Charlie Booker

2011 / 2012 SEASON

Ice Coaches: Myself
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Mark Campbell
Sled and Performance Technology: Bromley
Sponsors: Bromley

Shelley comments:
The day after arriving home from the World Championships in February, I received the worst news possible. My dad had been rushed into hospital with a massive brain haemorrhage. I will only summarise here but the whole chain of events as to how I found out, and the emotional roller coaster we all went through was just incredible and the worst moment in my life ever.

Those that know my family and I well, will know that my dad is super fit, very strong, healthy, such a hard worker and has so much zest for life. It came as a huge shock to everyone.

Within 48hrs after dad’s surgery I decided I needed to retire from the sport immediately and Kristan and I would re-locate closer to my mum and dad. My dad heard me discussing this at his bedside and was having none of it… I was pretty much ordered by him to go out and win the overall World Cup title as he knew i could do it… Right… No pressure then!

That summer was hard, but I went into the 2011/12 season with some fire in my belly. It was a crazy season with regards to the weather playing havoc with the results at most races and at times I didn’t think it was going to be possible to win the title. I had some good races though. I won the World Cup race in Koenigssee (where the World Championships were the previous season) by over half a second! I also went on to win the elusive overall World cup title which I was so pleased about – and I dedicated the win to my mum and dad. Finally the title I had been after for the past four years was mine!

Shelley Rudman © Charlie Booker

Shelley Rudman © Charlie Booker

2010 / 2011 SEASON

Ice Coaches: Myself
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Mark Campbell
Sled and Performance Technology: Bromley
Sponsors: Bromley

Shelley comments:
After spending a few weeks away from the sport once the season had finished, I decided I still had much more to achieve and hit my summer training hard. The season went really well with a career highlight – winning the European Championships in Winterberg and the World Cup race in St Moritz (setting a new track record)! The final round of the World Cup circuit climaxed in a challenge between Anja Huber (GER) and myself for the Overall World Cup title in Cesana, Italy. After being runner up for the previous two years it was definitely a title which was within my reach… or so I thought!

On the second day of being in Cesana (altitude of 1,354 m) I started to get a little cough, which by night turned into a full blown hacking cough, which by the morning had turned into a slight fever. I contacted my sports doctor back home who suggested I get some antibiotics as it sounded like I had a bacterial chest infection. The next day I felt so bad, with a fever of over 38 degrees. I had to miss the last two days of official training and hope that I made some improvement so that I would at least be able to make it to the start line and finish in one piece just to collect points and stay in the top three in the overall World Cup standings.

Fortunately I did feel a little better, but was in no shape to compete optimally and ended up in 7th position competing with a fever of 37 degrees – I wouldn’t recommend it! The positive was that I didn’t slip out of the top three of the overall World Cup standings and finished in 2nd overall which wasn’t so bad considering how bad I felt.

The week after Cesana I went to the World Championships in Koeniggssee, GER, still feeling under the weather from the chest infection. The first run didn’t go so well and I had to quickly figure out a new plan for run two which worked. For the second day I changed tact and managed to finish in 2nd position for both runs, which was great, but when you added up all the run times it placed me just outside the medal zone in 4th overall by just 3/10ths. I was gutted as it also meant I missed out jumping up a level of lottery funding which would have made a huge difference in concentrating on training and competing rather than trying to raise money.

As the season had finished, I flew home to the UK the following day, and met my mum, dad and Ella (they had been looking after Ella in the UK during the World Championships) at Birmingham airport, we then said our goodbyes and I headed home with Ella.

The following day I received the worst news possible which had a massive implication on my 2011/12 season…

Shelley Rudman © Charlie Booker

Shelley Rudman © Charlie Booker

2009 / 2010 SEASON

Ice Coaches: Kristan Bromley / Richard Bromley / Myself
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Mark Campbell
Sled and Performance Technology: Bromley
Sponsors: King of Shaves, Bromley, Gyro International and PJ Taste

Shelley comments:
Just before the start of the season in September I sustained a bad pelvis injury which forced me out of training for over a month. I received great support from physios and doctors to get me fit in time for the start of the Olympic season. There were times when I didn’t think I would be competing as I couldn’t train or push a sled without pain, but luckily a trip down to Oxford for some treatment helped, and I was able to build myself back up again. For the first few weeks back on ice I was kneeling on the sled and pushing it off the top with the other leg! My first time pushing a sled properly was in the first World Cup in Park city!

To summarise the season, I finished world number 2 in the overall World Cup series, 3rd in the Europeans and set two new track records during the seasons races.

Quite frustrating to finish 2nd overall again as this time it was really close between both Mel and I taking the top spot, and it literally came down to the final race of the season in Igls, Austria, but it was a great season of pure racing.

Vancouver 2010 Olympics!
I made it in one piece! My goal after taking a year out in 2007/8 after having my first child was to try and qualify for Vancouver. I didn’t know whether it would be possible or not… but I made it and was in the mix!

It was a great privilege to be chosen as the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Team Captain which was voted for by all my peers. It was an amazing experience to lead the british team into the stadium for the opening ceremony and wave the flag proudly. I am lucky to be fortunate enough to carry the flag at both opening and closing ceremonies at two different Olympics. Something of which both myself, family and friends are very proud of.

The Olympic event itself didn’t go as I had hoped for. I knew it was going to be a tough track for me to crack. From the first time I completed a run on the track it didn’t suit my style of driving naturally, and this was always going to be against me with very little runs.

My first run of the Olympic race day was terrible and I had 40 minutes to try and figure out a plan of action altering both my set-up and steers for the conditions. Each run I took during the Olympic race was faster, and my last run was the fastest run out of all the competitors… I was just a day too late connecting with the track.

I felt very frustrated post event. My technical team, family, friends and close fellow competitors knew that this race wasn’t a reflection of me as an athlete, but more of a “wrong place, wrong time” scenario in many ways. Melissa Hollingsworth (Canadian Gold medal banker) had exactly the same race as I did, although in the reverse order and was also terribly disappointed.

The biggest thing I learnt is:

“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again”

And that is why I’ll be back to race again! 

Shelley Rudman in action (2009-10)

Shelley Rudman at 2010 Olympic opening ceremony (2009-10)

Shelley Rudman 2010 Olympic Team Captain (2009-10)

Shelley hurdling for Sport Relief (2009-10)

2008 / 2009 SEASON

Ice Coach: Kristan Bromley
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Mark Campbell
Sled and Performance Technology: Bromley
Sponsors: King of Shaves, Bromley and Gyro International

Shelley comments at the end of the season:
On finishing the 2008/9 season I managed to round off the best ever season of performances. I finished second in the overall World Cup, I was crowned European Champion and broke two track records, narrowly missing one in Konigssee!

I also had a nightmare second half of the season, breaking my finger and suffering a lot of body bruising coming out of a notorious bend in St Moritz, Switzerland. The only salvaging factor was that I went on to win the World Cup race there a few days later thanks to Kristan moulding me a thermal plastic finger cover so I could compete without damaging it further! From a lot of things that did go wrong, I was very glad to be back racing and couldn’t believe how well my race performances went, although I have to be realistic as there is still a lot of work to do, and I’m still playing catch up from the missed months out. Lets see what the new season bodes!

Mid-season, Shelley commented:
At the beginning of the season I kick started my summer training by competing in the sports show Superstars. I had such a brilliant time competing in all the different sports – most I haven’t ever tried before, so it was all a great experience. Our team went on to win the overall competition too!

Find out more about Superstars: superstars.five.tv

Both Kristan and I had been so busy organising the logistics for the coming season. It is very different to other years, as we will be taking Ella on the circuit which involves serious amounts of organisation (car seat, toys, high chair, buggy, winter clothes… the list is endless!). Luckily, Kristan’s parents will come along to help out with the care of Ella while we are training and competing, and while in the UK my parents are also there to support with Ella.

With my summer’s training complete, both Kristan and I headed out to Norway for the first round of the British selection races. This was my first national qualifier for team selection since 2006 due to the birth of Ella and injuries.

The first race was in Norway, and the second Italy – the Olympic track. I hadn’t been back to the track since I last left it after my final race at the Olympics in February 2006! Seeing the track and the smell of the changing rooms definitely brought back alot of fond memories.

With the British selection races complete, I managed to finish the overall competition in first position as lead GBR female. Considering everything that has happened over the past two years I was really pleased to be back.

My starts have improved (thank you Mark), my sled feels great (thank you Bromley!)… the last stone to uncover is for me to start connecting with my sliding as i’m still not quite connecting – it will come with time though!

Roll on World Cup!

Shelley Rudman and the Superstars team (2008-9)

Shelley Rudman in action

2007 / 2008 SEASON

Birth of Ella-Marie!

Ice Coach: Kristan Bromley / Mark Wood
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Mark Campbell
Sled and Performance Technology: Bromley
Sponsors: King of Shaves and Bromley

Shelley comments:
After the birth of Ella-Marie in October I was back on North American ice in January for a few low key “return to the ice” competitions to get my feeling back after missing one year of sliding/strength and conditioning training. I had to learn fast as I went straight into official training with no pre-race practise, but really enjoyed being back sliding and the training went successfully!

I returned to North America again in April for two Americas Cup races in Lake Placid, N.Y. Both races went really well with a 3rd and a 1st.

Shelley Rudman in action (2007-8)

2006 / 2007 SEASON

Ice Coach: Kristan Bromley / Mickey Gruenberger
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Tommy Yule
Sled and Performance Technology: Bromley
Sponsors: King of Shaves and Bromley

Shelley comments:
I had only managed five summer training sessions due to Kristan and I being busy relocating to Sheffield. We literally received the keys to the house three days before the start of the season. With quite a few lingering injuries I went to Lillehammer for GBR selection races where I broke the track record, but also aggravated two injuries further, so was limping through the start of the World cup season.

It wasn’t until after the World Championships in St Moritz that the decision was made for me to return back to the UK to have my knee operation which I had been trying to avoid for a while. I had felt absolutely shattered in St Moritz, and my push starts were down by over 2/10ths. While back in the UK, I realised I was pregnant so the knee operation was postponed until two weeks after Ella-Marie was born on October 6th, and then back into training again two weeks after the knee op with sights set firmly on qualifying for Vancouver 2010.

Shelley Rudman King of Shaves photo-shoot (2006-7)

2005 / 2006 SEASON

Olympic year and Olympic Silver Medalist!

Ice Coach: Kristan Bromley / Mickey Gruenberger
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Mike Johnston
Sled and Performance Technology: Bromley
Sponsors: Bromley and HDO Sport

Shelley comments:
Breakthrough in sliding where I started getting into the top four on World cups. I came 2nd in the European Championships and finished 5th in the overall World Cup. The biggest success was at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics where I finished 2nd and won Silver, the only medal the GBR team won.

Shelley Rudman Silver Medalist 2006 Winter Olympics (2005-6)

2004 / 2005 SEASON

Ice Coach: Mickey Gruenberger / Kristan Bromley
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Mike Johnston
Sled and Performance Technology: Bromley
Sponsors: Shelley Rudman Supporters Group, HDO Sport, Parents and Myself

Shelley comments:
The year I made my debut onto the World Cup. I also won the World Student Games and was the first female in British Skeleton Slider to win a Europa Cup.

Shelley Rudman 2005 World Student Games Gold (2004-5)

2003 / 2004 SEASON

Ice Coach: Mark Wood
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Mike Johnston
Sled: Bromley BAE hybrid / Bromley
Sponsors: Bacardi Breezer, HDO Sport, Parents and Myself

Shelley comments:
The year I purchased my first race sled from Bromley which I later used in the Olympics.

Shelley Rudman in Action (2003-4)

2002 / 2003 SEASON

Ice Coach: none
Strength and Conditioning Coach: none
Sled: Bromley BAE hybrid
Sponsors: Parents and myself

Shelley comments:
I missed making the junior development squad and self funded my first season of skeleton, touring the venues with military sliders.

Shelley Rudman in action