Amy Williams won Olympic gold for Great Britain at the Vancouver Games in 2010, this country’s only medal, and the first by a British woman for 58 years…
As a student in 2002, Amy tried out the newly-installed bobsleigh and skeleton push-start training facility at Bath University. Eager to represent Britain in an Olympic sport, she switched her focus from track athletics to join the British Skeleton development programme and began to learn the art of sliding. Amy won the silver medal in the 2009 World Championships, along with several other World Cup Medals, and the following year slid to victory in the Olympics. Today, she is a presenter of Channel 5’s Gadget Show.
1. For the skeleton, technology has got much bigger in the sport over the last 10 years. We started building our own sleds, working with McLaren on aerodynamics, materials and the design of runners to make them as fast as possible. It’s like Formula 1, but on a smaller scale and with less money! I worked very closely with British Cycling, and spent hours in a wind tunnel to get my body position as aero-dynamic as possible. If you could put your head an inch lower it could make a huge difference.
2. Among the gadgets I use; wearable fitness trackers are useful if you need motivation, monitoring the steps you take and your diet. I also like the Umoro water bottle and shaker that keeps your protein powder dry until you need it, and it’s leak-proof.
3. I use the app Endomondo for running and cycling, more out of interest than for fitness. It’s fun tracking distance and speed.
4. Athletes always like to listen to music on headphones. I would put on classical music or R&B or country – jolly, happy music. The skeleton is strange because you want to be as psyched as possible for the 10 second sprint at the start, and then as calm as possible for the rest of the race. I always needed to be more aggressive. Now I like the AfterShokz headphones that sit on your cheekbones not your ears. They’re sensible if you are on the bike or running, because you can still hear the traffic around you.
5. If I could design a fitness gadget it would be some kind of extreme machine. When you wake up every day it would take your blood and heart rate, assess how rested you are, and devise a training plan based on the state of your muscles so you could train at an optimum level.
Amy will be a host at the Gadget Show Live at Birmingham NEC, 8th-12th April, gadgetshowlive.net