Winter Olympics: Shelley and James lead city’s medal hopes

Shelley Rudman during the Team GB Media Day at Bath University last summer. Pic: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
Shelley Rudman during the Team GB Media Day at Bath University last summer. Pic: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
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While the 2012 Olympic Games in London were a golden summer for one particular Sheffield athlete the winter equivalent next month could see more than one medal return to the city.

And while it may be difficult to replicate the frenzy surrounding Jessica Ennis-Hill it will be worth keeping a track on five Sheffield-based athletes who could make a name for themselves in Sochi, Russia, when the action begins on February 7.

It will be the third Olympics for 32-year-old skeleton star Shelley Rudman. A silver medal at the 2006 Games in Turin was followed by sixth four years later in Vancouver.

Rudman is in top form this season and finished with a bronze medal during the latest World Cup round in St Moritz. British teammate Lizzy Yarnold will be one of Rudman’s main rivals for gold.

Rudman’s fiance Kristan Bromley may be in his last Olympics aged 41 but he is vastly experienced and could challenge for a skeleton medal if he hits top form.

James Woods first tried skiing after seeing an advert for Sheffield Ski Village in The Star. Now the 21-year-old is one of the world’s hottest prospects in the discipline of slopestyle skiing.

Woods won silver in last year’s World Championships and will take part in the X-Games in Aspen next week.

Katie Summerhayes, aged 18, was an Olympic torchbearer in Sheffield in 2012 and is another slopestyle star. She has battled back from injuries to make the Games and may spring a surprise.

James Machon, aged 23, is another former Ski Village protege.

James is a four-time half-pipe British champion and finished 21st in the Olympic qualifiers last week.