Vicky Williamson, who won a bronze medal in the team sprint at the 2013 World Track Championships, is to switch from cycling to bobsleigh. Williamson had only recently returned to cycling at the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships following a horrific crash in 2016 in which she broke her neck and back and dislocated her pelvis, but she has already completed her first training camp with the GB bobsleigh team.
Williamson said: “Cycling has been a big part of my life since I was a teenager back when I came through the Girls 4 Gold Talent ID programme. In a way I’m sad to be moving on from it but equally I’m excited about what could happen in my bobsleigh career.
“My crash in 2016 changed my life, and although I would say it has inhibited my ability to excel to the top of the sport again, my athletic capability has still allowed me to continue in elite sport. I couldn’t have got through it without the support I received from British Cycling who funded my rehab and supported my return – I will always be thankful.”
British Cycling Performance Director Stephen Park commented: “Vicky’s cycling career has been nothing short of extraordinary. Her mental and physical strength, determination and resilience are admirable and set her out as a true professional sportswoman who has inspired other athletes who face their own challenging injuries.
“But it’s not just her remarkable recovery that stands out from her time on the programme, she retires from cycling with a palmares filled with world, European and national level podium results.
“The opportunity she has with the GB Bobsleigh Team is really exciting, we wish her well and I know the friends she’s made amongst the riders and staff here at British Cycling will be cheering her on in her new challenge.”
Williamson is not the first to attempt a switch between track cycling and bobsleigh. In October of last year, Greg Cackett tried to head the other way.
A member of Team GB’s four-man bobsleigh crew at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Cackett said that he was aiming to compete on the track in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. He has since ‘paused’ his attempt to become a track cyclist and returned to bobsleigh with a view to competing at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.