Laura Deas admits 2018 was the greatest year of her life – but now she’s hoping 2019 is just as memorable.
The Wrexham skeleton ace became the first Welsh athlete to win a medal at a Winter Olympics with a stunning bronze medal.
Deas finished third as fellow Team GB slider Lizzy Yarnold struck gold in PyeongChang in February.
Just a few months later in June she married long-term boyfriend Richard Green with Yarnold a bridesmaid – just as Deas had been at her friend’s wedding!
— Laura Deas OLY (@skeletonlaura) December 31, 2018
“2018 was the best year of my life so far,” said Deas. “It exceeded all of my expectations and I had a fantastic time.
“It was lovely to be able to celebrate with people last summer, both about the Olympics and at our wedding as well.
“It was brilliant having Lizzy as a bridesmaid. I was a bridesmaid at her wedding a couple of years ago, so she’s been there and I’ve been with her through some of the most important moments in our lives. We share a very close bond.
“The timing of the wedding was deliberate in the sense that I wanted to give myself a different focus after the Olympics.
“As it turns out, because of my success in PyeongChang I had an incredibly busy time with media commitments and everything else when I got back so that meant we were quite up against it with the wedding planning to get everything done!
“I definitely wasn’t bored, put it that way!”
Deas’ main goal this year will be the World Championships in Whistler, Canada, in March.
Then there are the 2022 Games in Beijing though Deas – now Britain’s top slider with yarnold retired – is not looking that far ahead.
And not everything has gone to plan so far this season.
The 30-year-old missed the World Cup opener in Sigulda in December with concussion before claiming seventh-place finish in Winterberg then coming eighth in Altenberg earlier this month.
Then last weekend’s World Cup meeting in Bavaria had to be cancelled due to too much snow making the conditions too dangerous with the European Championships also now being rescheduled.
“I’m aiming for the World Championships,” Deas told Team GB. “I’ve had some really good World Cup results there before and I enjoy the four-heat race format, so I’m looking to put in a good performance and aim for a medal.
“I’m going season-by-season at the moment and just looking to peak for the World Championships each year.
“There’s so much talent coming through the ranks now. We’ve lost some of the senior athletes but we’ve got so much strength in depth that I really think we’ll see some impressive results this season.”
And whatever happens this season Deas has that historic medal success in South Korea to savour.
“For me it doesn’t really change anything because I always knew that I was capable of winning a medal,” she added.
“I always knew I had that potential and that I had enough talent and the right mental attitude to do it.
“I guess I’ll take forward the confidence that I was able to achieve it when it really mattered, but I feel like the same person this season.”