When Shelley Rudman’s not being a mum, she’s hurtling down bobsled runs at 80mph. Shelley, 32, is the reigning skeleton bobsledding world champion and an Olympic Winter Games medallist.
P&G, the name behind brands including Max Factor and Olay, are proud sponsors of mums the world over – and are delighted to be backing Shelley in her bid to take part in Sochi 2014.
Here, Shelley explains how she combines her love of sport with being a mum to six-year-old Ella…
Having my first child didn’t change my drive to be the best. When I’m on the start line, about to race down at high speed, I still have the same focus and determination I’ve always had.
Away from the sport, I’m just like any other mum. I do all the usual things with Ella, and so far she’s into drama, sport and reading. My fiancé Kristan [Bromley, also a skeleton racer] and I have no idea if she’ll end up going into sport, too; we’ll have to wait and see.
My own mother was an incredible influence on me. She gave me such a positive, bounce-back attitude to life. When I was younger, she was so supportive behind the scenes; ferrying me to training, and being realistic about my chances of success. If I ever had any doubts about my abilities, she’d tell me to focus on something else for a while, then go back to it with a clear mind.
I have to adjust to the physically demanding side of the sport. In a competition we do just two runs, which last about 60 seconds each, because they’re so taxing on the body. You need power in your legs to get a good start, so I’ve been focusing on building muscle there. I’ve also been trying to put on weight, so I can use a lighter sled. You have to get the best balance of weight so you can go down the ice as fast as possible.
I’m very grateful that Kristan does the same sport, as it means we can share the experience. It also means that Ella can come with us when we compete abroad, so we get to enjoy what we do as a family, which means a lot.
I’m more competitive with my partner than with anyone else on the track. If Kristan comes fourth, then I’ll want to finish fourth or better, and he is exactly the same with me. That goes for off the ice, too, but it’s done in good spirit and we have a good laugh about it.
I think it’s a myth that sport and fashion are mutually exclusive. Sportswomen are in their kit so much that they jump at the chance to get dressed up! I’m usually wearing Lycra, with my hair tied back, so occasionally wearing a nice outfit and doing my make-up is very important.
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