Winter Olympic dream for Welwyn Garden City teenager

PUBLISHED: 17:21 03 February 2014 | UPDATED: 17:34 03 February 2014

James Odeniyi

James Odeniyi


Welwyn Garden City teenager James Odeniyi will be watching the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, which start next week, and dreaming that he will represent GB in the bobsleigh at the Pyeongchang 2018 Games.

The former pupil of Applecroft Junior School and Stanborough School has taken the first major step towards his ambition – to represent his country as an Olympian.

The 17-year-old has just returned from attending a week-long ice camp, sponsored by SportsAid, at the 1976 Olympic bobsleigh track in Igls, Austria.

The camp was organised by the British Bobsleigh Association to provide young talented athletes the opportunity to learn, by training on ice, the skills to both drive and push a two-man sled.

Odeniyi, a Herts Phoenix sprinter with a 100m personal best of 11.2secs and 60m best of 7.36secs, was selected earlier in the summer after participating in two separate qualifying performance tests in sprinting, long jump and pushing at the National Bobsleigh Training Centre at the University of Bath.

World Class Programme coach Lee Johnston made sure that all of the athletes worked hard and eventually made it from the top of the Olympiaworld track by the end of the ice camp.

The Times Territory teen placed in the top five males competing to earn, with five girls, support and subsidy from the Bobsleigh’s Futures Program – established to provide an opportunity for youngsters to progress to represent GB on the International Circuit.

Odeniyi is now studying for his A Levels at the John Henry Newman Catholic School in Stevenage.

He is a talented all-round sportsman presently specialising in athletics and football.

He returned from Austria excited by his experience and, having achieved recognition for his driving skills, has solidified his prospects for a future in the national squad.

Training sessions every six to eight weeks will keep the athletes in touch with the programme, while they are encouraged to continue their other sports.

However, with the XXII Winter Olympic Games at Sochi, Russia starting next week Odeniyi has his sights firmly focused on the 2018 Games in South Korea.

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