Former pupil, Gillian Cooke (Class of 2000) has gained a gold medal in the Women’s Bobsleigh World Championships at Lake Placid, New York State, just five months after taking up the event.
Known at school as an all-round sportswoman, she tried her hand at most things during her time here. Gymnastics, fencing, rowing, football… but it was athletics that she focussed on, and athletics that won her medals and brought her Scottish records in both the long jump and pole vault.
She took up the bobsleigh last autumn as a means of maintaining her fitness for summer athletics competitions. Teamed with Nicola Minichiello from Sheffield, her athletic power was harnessed to provide the push-off. Their success means they have become the first Britons to win a bobsleigh gold since 1965.
Unsurprisingly, Gillian now finds herself compared to track cyclist Rebecca Romero, who came to the public’s attention when she won a gold Olympic medal in Beijing for cycling having won silver for rowing at the Athens games.
Now Gillian’s sights are set on the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.