Tice on ice

On the sled...

I didn't stay on the sled for long...

Me falling off the sled!

Team GB have done us proud at the Winter Olympics. Lizzy Yarnold's second successive gold and Laura Deas's bronze underlined our country's extraordinary dominance of Olympic women's skeleton racing.

It’s all the more extraordinary as the UK does not boast a single skeleton track. 

Watching Yarnold reminded me of my 20s, when I threw myself down the Cresta Run in Switzerland about 500 times (and on numeorus occasions crashed). Cresta is an ice chute that you descend on a 35 kg skeleton, which is basically an overpriced metal board! You lie face down, and go head first.

You hit speeds over 80mph (which would be illegal on a motorway) with the added fun of no brakes and only a helmet for protection.

"Skeleton" is an apt name - it's terrifying.  And lazy bones beware: it takes a lot of practice. No wonder it featured in the Bond books where it’s described as “sixty seconds of naked fear”.

You’re constantly trying to improve your time and as in business, every second counts.  It's a matter of head first, face down, go for it.

I finally got sensible and stopped doing the Cresta Run in 1997 soon after an 80mph wipeout. I couldn’t resist trying just once more in 2010 before deciding no, I really am a bit old for it now. I’ve chucked it in for real now – well I think I have.