Bobsleigh: Bournemouth's Winter Olympics hopeful Anya Kay seeks inspiration from Sochi gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold

Bournemouth Echo: GOING DOWNHILL: Anya Kay (rear of bob) and Anna Alexander-Holmes GOING DOWNHILL: Anya Kay (rear of bob) and Anna Alexander-Holmes

ANYA Kay is taking inspiration from Great Britain’s Winter Olympics star Lizzy Yarnold as she aims to continue her rapid progress in bobsleigh.

The Arts University Bournemouth student, who practised on ice for the first time in January, secured a bronze medal in the two-woman bob at the British Championships in Igls, Austria in March.

Previously a committed athlete, the 22-year-old first underwent testing in the sport in June last year and her rostrum finish alongside Wiltshire’s Anna Alexander-Holmes illustrated her meteoric progress in just nine months.

The Bournemouth brakewoman has ambitions to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and says that skeleton ace and Sochi gold medallist Yarnold's success proves that great things can be achieved from nothing.

Kay told the Daily Echo: “Lizzy Yarnold only started doing skeleton just over four years ago and when you put it like that, I have exactly the same chance of getting to the Olympics as she had. It’s very realistic.

“I’ve got a lot of people supporting me that think that I can do it. Some people believe in me more than I believe in myself.

“I’ve improved so much in a short space of time when I haven’t had much funding. I know that I can achieve whatever I want to do and I’m very motivated to do that.”

Alongside her studies, Kay trains in Bournemouth and Bath as well as working part-time in the restaurant at Dudsbury Golf Club.

In spite of her busy schedule, the youngster insists that she does not regret taking on multiple challenges at once.

“All I’m doing is saving my student loan so I can go up to Bath. All the other students are going out drinking but I don’t go to parties and things,” she said.

“People say, ‘you have sacrificed so much’, but I love it. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything wrong and I’ve got such great friends too, they know what I want to do and what I have to do to get there.

“The golf club are really flexible with their timetable, which is really helpful because it is quite hectic doing my degree as well as training to be an Olympian.

“If I can get more access to the facilities that the elite athletes have, then there’s no saying what I can achieve.

“It’s exciting to think that I’ve got this far without anything really, apart from being motivated and wanting something.”

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