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A big year ahead for Adele

 
Created on 04/01/2021 @ 10:22
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Like most of us, 2020 brought its fair share of frustrations for Welshpool elite athlete Adele Nicoll, but she ended it, quite literally, on a slippery slope that is bringing with it an unexpected Olympic dream.

Adele has flourished in athletics over the past decade, becoming Wales’s top shot putt thrower and winning multiple indoor and outdoor titles.

But she has chanced her arm at another sport that has seen her immediately included into the Team GB mix, with a serious shot of making the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

“It’s been quite a ride, literally!” said Adele, who has returned to live in Welshpool after completing a Masters in Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University.

“I was encouraged to give bobsleigh a go with a trial for Team GB and I have really taken to it by being included in the No. 1 GB squad.”

Unlike the men’s sport, where there is a four-man bobsleigh team, the female version only extends to two-woman crews, and Team GB currently runs a pair of teams.

The No. 1 team is piloted by Mica McNeil who finished eighth at the last Olympics and is someone that Adele describes as a “super experienced” driver.

“I trialled for her squad in September and was successful,” explained Adele. “Mica has two break women - Beijing Olympics 100m finalist, Montell Douglas, and World Track Cycling bronze medallist, Victoria Williamson - who travel with her to every event and I am now the third so I step in if one of those two is injured.”

This happened in October when Montell was injured so Adele was flown out to Latvia and then travelled on to Germany to provide back-up for a couple of weeks.

No sooner had she returned home, Victoria suffered an injury so Adele was on a plane again to Austria for the IBSF World Cup event in Igls where Mica and Montell finished a best-ever fourth.

Adele now has a big 12 months ahead with the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games scheduled to take place from February 4-20 next year.

“It would really be a dream come true to take part in an Olympic Games so I will be training flat out throughout 2021 to give myself the best chance possible of making the Olympic team,” said Adele, who is on standby for the IBSF World Championships in Altenberg, Germany, next month.

Her new training regime has resulted in Adele shedding two stones in weight with the Beijing bobsleigh overall weight limit set at 330kg.

But could her new found sport end her hopes of representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games in shot putt? Not a chance according to Adele.

“The sports compliment each other,” she said. “Both rely on power so although I have lost the weight, I am still just as powerful and my throwing has not been affected at all. I was worried that my strength levels would drop but I am actually lifting more in the gym than I ever have before.”

The 2022 Commonwealth Games are due to take place in Birmingham from July 28-August 8 next year, and Adele’s personal best throw is a “school ruler” away from the shot putt qualification mark.

“It is very attainable if I work hard,” she said. “Like everyone, 2020 was a tough year but these goals were a great way for me to get through it and I am looking forward to seeing what 2021 brings!”

Away from sport, Adele, who received a distinction for her Masters dissertation, has her eyes on a doctorate in future and says she is “always thinking about a career beyond sport”.

Her return to Welshpool means we will get to see a lot more of her around the town in 2021 and she says she “wants to bring some of the things that I have learned back to the area”.  

Adele continues to receive solid local support with Great Fitness, Rikki Lloyd and Dawson Shanahan among her sponsors.

 

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