British track rider Victoria Williamson has announced she will switch from cycling to bobsleigh, after completing her first training camp with the GB bobsleigh team.
Williamson emerged in 2011 after enrolling in the Olympic Development Programme in 2008, having previously switched from athletics to cycling.
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Her best result came in 2013 at the Track World Championships in Minsk, Belarus, where she partnered with Becky James to win a bronze medal in the team sprint.
Disaster struck in January 2016 when Williamson crashed in the Omnium sprint race at the Six Days of Rotterdam. She suffered a broken neck and back, as well as dislocating her pelvis and slipping a disc in her neck.
Williamson was left with a loss of feeling in her left leg after the crash due to a trapped nerve, eventually making her return to racing three years later in 2019.
Now 25, she competed in the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Hong Kong and also qualified for the Track World Championships.
Speaking about her switch, Williamson said: “Cycling has been a big part of my life since I was a teenager back when I came through the Girls4Gold talent identification 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.
She added that the crash in 2016 has made it difficult for her to return to her previous form on the bike, but thanked British Cycling for funding and supporting her rehabilitation.
“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.”
The next Winter Olympic Games will take place in Beijing, China, in February 2022.