Olympic dreams for Honiton athlete

Marcus Wyatt Skeleton athlete

Marcus Wyatt Skeleton athlete - Credit: Team Bath

You can forgive Marcus Wyatt for feeling a bit flabbergasted at seeing the headline “Wyatt wins Beijing silver.” 
It’s not a sort of Yuletide paranormal phenomenon to mark the beginning of the festive – and winter sports – season. No Dickensian Ghosts of Olympic future visited the athlete at his hometown of Honiton, or at British Skeleton’s University of Bath HQ.   

The medal is one hundred percent real. Wyatt won it at a test event on the brand-new, state-of-the-art, dragon-inspired Beijing Games track last month. But when your most potent Olympic memory is just missing out on qualifying in 2018, that sliver of silverware can feel pretty surreal.   

“It’s huge. I’m still—I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet,” said the 29-year-old, who is one of over 1,000 athletes who are able to train full-time, access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support thanks to vital National Lottery funding. 

“I knew I could do quite well, but to come away with a medal was huge. It just gives you that extra confidence. I know it is going to be a long, tough season trying to qualify for the Games.” 

Wyatt finished eighth in last season’s World Cup, with GB team-mate Matt Weston just one place below him, and the Honiton athlete is finally achieving the kind of consistency he’s gunned for since day one—and at just the right time.  

The former American footballer—he’s in the Swansea Titans Hall of Fame—often cites F1’s Michael Schumacher as a role model.   

But the Buffalo Bills fan also draws inspiration from NFL star JJ Watt, whose total commitment to sport reflects the approach Wyatt, with his insatiable Olympic appetite, will draw from as he aims to banish the ghosts of qualification windows past.   
No one does more to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes than National Lottery players, who raise more than £30 million each week for good causes including grassroots and elite sport. Discover the positive impact playing the National Lottery has at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtag: #TNLAthletes 

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