International Women's Day: Lizzy Yarnold stresses importance of promoting women's achievements

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Last Updated: 08/03/14 8:52am

Lizzy Yarnold: Big believer in International Women's Day

Britain's gold medal winning Winter Olympian Lizzy Yarnold says International Women's Day brings some much-needed attention to women from all walks of life.

The 25-year-old from Kent followed in the footsteps of Amy Williams by winning skeleton gold at the Winter Olympics in Sochi last month.

And she believes International Women's Day, which celebrates women's achievements past, present and future, is about learning to embrace change.

"It's great to have more attention on women specifically within this week," Yarnold told skysports.com.

"It's not only for sport it can be business or politics or society. The focus for this year is obviously change and change is something you can't be fearful of.

"I've had many changes in my life whether it's been in sport or my lifestyle - I moved to Bath to train full-time.

"It's just been really nice to open up this discussion not only in the UK but internationally as well."

Lizzy Yarnold

"I think it's about accepting change and embracing it and being confident in yourself and your own ability in any walk of life.

"It's just been really nice to open up this discussion not only in the UK but internationally as well."

Fame game

Yarnold has become a household name since becoming an Olympic champion but she insists being a star was never something she had given much consideration to.

"I've had so many great TV opportunities (since winning gold) and people have wanted me to come into their schools and do talks and things.

"I think it's great that people have learnt a little bit about the skeleton and actually want to hear about my career, how I got into it personally, and how I can encourage others to follow their dreams.

"In a way it has given me a platform to pass on my story and that's the best thing about it.

"I'm an athlete through and through. I never wanted to be famous so I just I hope I can use the attention to try and encourage more people to do what they've always wanted to do like I have."

Yarnold admitted being seen as a role model is taking some getting used to but says they can be found in all walks of life.

"Many people in society are role models whether they like it or not," she said.

"If you are quite confident and brave and try and follow whatever path you desire - whether it's in business or as an athlete - as long as you have great values and great qualities then you will always be a role model.

"As an athlete I've always just tried to do my best and be respectful towards people - hopefully I will just keep doing that and keep encouraging people to do the same."