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Lizzy Yarnold’s Mental Toughness Helps Her Win Gold

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BBC Sport tells us of the England-born Lizzy Yarnold, who transforms into “The Yarnold” when she hits the ice, and how she used her patented brand of mental toughness, intricate sled engineering and deep house music to win the gold medal in the skeleton races in Sochi.

Finalizing her combined runs with the fourth and final one yesterday, Yarnold came out on top with a deciding victory of three minutes 52.89 seconds that put her .97 seconds away from second-place finisher Noelle Pikus-Pace of the United States. Her being almost a whole second away from her competitors is a big deal– usually first, second and third placers are small fractions away from each other in timing.

True to her mental toughness m.o., Yarnold suffered a wobble near the top of the final run, but recovered to become just the fifth British athlete to win the gold at the Winter Olympics.

Her victory speech reiterated her strong belief in the strength of mental toughness, by admonishing every one to “follow your dreams, never give up and never limit yourself to what you can achieve.” About her win she proudly stated, “I think I was bold enough to learn the Russian for I am champion. I believed in myself, I knew I could do it if I put in the hard work and dedication.”

The 25-year-old British skeleton racer began competing in 2010, and won her first official race that year. Skeleton racing involves sliding face down on a small sled at over 80mph. A rider can experience forces up to 5 g wearing only a helmet for protection. Definitely a sport involving a high concentration of mental toughness.

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Lizzy Yarnold’s Mental Toughness Helps Her Win Gold
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