South Shields biathlete Amanda Lightfoot's delight as she secures Winter Olympics place
South Tyneside snow queen Amanda Lightfoot is set to again represent her country on the biggest stage of all.
Amanda, 30, from South Shields, has been selected for next month’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
She will be Team GB’s sole biathlete - a mixture of cross-country skiing and shooting.
The event will be her second taste of the Olympics, having competed in Sochi in 2014.
On that occasion, she was the second female British biathlete to compete at a Winter Olympics, having started the sport through the military at the age of 19.
Former St Wilfrid’s RC School pupil Amanda has told of her delight after being selected again.
She told the Team GB website: “I’m over the moon to be selected for Team GB for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
“The rollercoaster of a journey these last four years have been quite an experience and the thousands of hours training makes these Olympics extra special.
“I’m looking to get the best result ever for a British female biathlete out in Pyeongchang.” In the 2014 Winter Olympics, Amanda finished 71st in the 15km individual event, following her 75th place in the 7.5km sprint, which was her Olympic debut.
Since that competition, she has continued to represent Great Britain on the international stage.
Her best result over the last four years saw her finish 32nd in the 15km individual event at the 2017 World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria, which helped her qualify for the Olympics.
Mike Hay, Team GB Chef de Mission for Pyeongchang 2018, said: “It’s great to welcome Amanda back to Team GB for Pyeongchang 2018.
“Her experience in Sochi will no doubt help her hugely in South Korea and her recent performances show how far she’s progressed in the four years since her last Olympic outing.”
Sarah Greig, biathlon team leader for Pyeongchang 2018, said: “It’s a great achievement for Amanda to be selected for her second Winter Olympics.
“To do so as only the second British female biathlete to race at a Games is testament to the hard work she has put into the sport over the last decade - while also maintaining her military career.
“Both the British Biathlon Union and the army are extremely proud of her inspirational endeavours and wish her the very best of luck for the Games.”
Amanda joined the army’s Adjutant General Corps as a clerk at the age of 16 and decided to give the sport a try while she was serving in Iraq.
Since then, she has been on full-time release from the army so that she is able to pursue her sporting dream.