Yarnold credits year break with prolonging career and shot at double Olympic glory
Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold paid tribute to the benefit of her year away from the sport as the Brit prepares to mount her challenge at PyeongChang 2018.
The 29-year-old will bid to become the first Brit, and first skeleton athlete from any country, to successfully defend her Olympic title after being named as one of four athletes selected to Team GB.
Joining last year's world bronze medallist is Laura Deas, who is set to take her Olympic bow after five World Cup top-ten finishes this season, as well as Dom Parsons and Jerry Rice.
Yarnold has not enjoyed the best of seasons on the ice, having only come ninth in the overall World Cup and finished out of the top ten on four occasions – even failing to make the top 20 in one race.
But a fourth place in Koenigssee last weekend, to follow up ninth in St Moritz the week before, have given her renewed hope heading to PyeongChang.
"I know that if I hadn't taken a break I wouldn't be here today," she said of the 2015-16 season, during which she did not compete.
"The big goal was to always go to another Olympic Games, to go to PyeongChang and I intend to defend my title.
"My season has certainly been up and down but I think this year has certainly taught me that sport is hard and tough and takes a tremendous amount of work and I have a very patient and understanding team around me and I really grateful for that.
"I think peaking at the right time makes more sense now than ever."
Rice will also be making his Olympic debut in PyeongChang, while Parsons will be racing at a Winter Games for the second time having finished tenth in Sochi.
Also selected by Team GB on Monday was biathlete Amanda Lightfoot – with the 30-year-old returning for a second shot at the Olympic Winter Games.
Four years ago she finished 71st in the 15km individual pursuit and 75th in the 7.5km sprint.
She is just the second ever female British biathlete to compete at the Olympics and she can't wait to get going again in PyeongChang.
"I'm over the moon to be selected for Team GB for the 2018 Winter Olympics," she said. "The roller coaster 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."