An Olympic hopeful from RAF Coningsby has been given elite athlete status to allow him to train full time in a bid to be part of Team GB.
Cpl Jonny Anderson is in training as a bobsleigh ‘brakeman’ to ultimately be selected as part of the Great British Bobsleigh Team in the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in Pyeone Chang, Korea.
A corporal within the Fuel Operations section of Logistics Squadron, Jonny has been in the Royal Air Force for 12 years, the last three years at RAF Coningsby.
“I was part of the RAF Athletics Team for five years, sprinting for 100 and 200 metres,” said Cpl Anderson.
“One of the RAF bobsleigh team members was one of my competitors for sprinting and I became interested in his other sport – bobsleighing.
“He was lucky enough to be selected for the Olympics in 2014 and I thought I’d have a go.
“I went to the Inter Services competition and I was part of the winning team; that sealed the deal.”
The scratch on his crash helmet is a reminder of how dangerous the sport is.
“That happened on a run at the Inter Services competition at Winterburgh in Germany,” said Cpl Anderson.
“I was part of a two-man team and we crashed the day before the competition – I had to put it out of my mind and hope that whatever my driver had done wrong, he’d identified and corrected it.
“I never think about crashing – if I did I’d never get in the bob.”
While the 2018 Olympics is his ultimate goal, there are the annual World Championships and the World Cup to prepare for too.
Now, the granting of elite athlete status by the RAF means he can concentrate all his efforts on training.
“Being granted Elite Athlete status, I can concentrate full time and focus on getting to Pyeong Chang,” added Cpl Anderson.
“My training will mainly concentrate on sprint and speed work, gym work to develop strength and a lot of ‘push’ training down at the facility at University of Bath.
“I have the RAF to thank for allowing me the opportunity to compete for the country, for allowing me to try the sport.”
“It’s something I would never have tried if I hadn’t had the opportunity in my service career.
“This is the last chance for me to compete; when I get to the Olympics, I’ll be 33 years old - I’m one of the oldest brakemen now and it will be time to retire.”