Andy Wood's Blog

GB Skeleton Athlete

Lobotomy Please!

I’ve never had as much pain in my head from sliding as I do now. The track in Winterberg was so bumpy in places, it felt like my brain was rattling around. It got to the point where I dreaded going through the last corner on the track as it was by far the worst part. I’m sure I have a bruised brain now…

Luckily we’ve finished with the Winterberg track for now as we’re making our way towards Lake Placid USA, via Geneva in Switzerland.

It wasn’t a very good week for me to be honest. I’m on a new sled this season, like most people on our team, and I’m struggling to get to grips with it. It’s much more responsive than my old sled, so much that I discovered I could get down the track on a good line by just tilting my head in the desired direction! Every day we took the sled apart, making some changes to try and lose the responsiveness before testing it on the track the next day. The sled can be configured many different ways to make it stiffer or more flexible. I think I was getting close to my best setup by the end of our week in Germany.

The track and weather conditions made things difficult too. We had 1 or 2 days of clear skies, then the heavens opened and we had heavy rain the rest of the week. Some of the track’s covered but the top few straights were wide open and resembled a water slide at a swimming pool. I’m not exaggerating. During one of my runs, I hit a 3 metre span of water that had settled in a dip in the track and the rate of deceleration was immense! A lot of water managed to spray up between my helmet and face, leaving water droplets all over the inside and outside of my visor, giving me virtually no visibility for the rest of the run, it was pretty scary! Then there was the huge ridge in the track a bit further down. Coming out of one of the corners, everyone would hit a build-up of ice and get air between themselves and their sled. It felt like being hit by a car from underneath.

Let’s hope the track in Lake Placid’s a bit smoother!

October 12, 2009 - Posted by | Blog Archive


  1. Hey Andy!

    Just wanted to say good luck for Sunday, the first of your 2 qualifying days! We will all be thinking of you! I hope it goes well for you, have been reading your Blog and I can’t believe the amount of preperation you have put in! That list was immense!! You really deserve the best result possible
    Good luck, think fast and hope your new sledge performs for you!

    Kate x

    Comment by Kate | October 15, 2009 | Reply

    • Hi Kate!

      Thanks for the good luck message, yeah the preparation is always so hectic before the season starts! I came 2nd in the 1st race yesterday, so hopefully I’ll go one better in the 2nd race đŸ™‚

      I hope you’re well!


      Comment by andywoodskeleton | October 20, 2009 | Reply

  2. Good luck Andy. Hope all goes well – still not quite sure how you manage to get on the sledge each time given everything that happens on the way down!

    All the best!


    Comment by Paul | October 16, 2009 | Reply

  3. Hi Andy
    I hope the Lake Placid track is a lot smoother than Winterberg with no headaches!!
    I keep looking for you on Skype – no luck yet!
    Hope training is going well and the sled is behaving.
    Dad XX

    Comment by PETER WOOD | October 16, 2009 | Reply

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