Winter Olympics 2014: Lizzy Yarnold will use gold to inspire girls to strive for their dream


Lizzy Yarnold is determined to use the attention that accompanies winning an Olympic gold to promote the cause of women in sport and encourage girls “not to worry about the media image of the perfect woman”.

Yarnold collected her gold medal on Saturday evening, for only the fifth individual win by a Briton at a Winter Olympics. She has ambitions to become the first Briton to defend a Winter Games title successfully in Pyeongchang in 2018, but before that she wants to promote a cause she believes in passionately.

“There are so many strong women in sport,” said Yarnold. “I just hope we can get more publicity, get in the papers more, get more sport on TV. The cricketers are very strong in Britain, the footballers are great athletes. I intend to go into as many schools as I can to tell them to get involved in sport. It doesn’t have to be skeleton, it could be just at lunchtimes or after school. It’s about being a strong role model, being athletic and being proud of who you are – not worrying about what the media image is of the perfect woman. It’s about being you and being proud and confident about who you are.

“There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with the gold medal. I understand that. It was always my aim to go into schools and inspire them and to say, ‘You can do it; whether it’s arts or music or sport, you’ve got to follow your dream and dedicate a lot of time’.”

Yarnold, who began in athletics before being talent-spotted for the skeleton, got her sporting inspiration from Denise Lewis and a visit to her school by the Olympic javelin-thrower Goldie Sayers.

“I was at the right age when [Denise Lewis] won gold,” said Yarnold. “It was the right moment [in my life] where you could say, ‘You can choose this career path. You can be an athlete full-time if you dedicate yourself. You can win Olympic gold if you work hard enough’.”

Read more:

Winter Olympics 2014: After star billing in Sochi, next stop The Archers for Lizzy Yarnold

Winter Olympics 2014: Lizzy Yarnold takes gold in the skeleton on Valentine’s Day  

voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes