Wednesday, September 16, 2015

News: Bromley announces retirement

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Former skeleton World Champion Kristan Bromley has announced his retirement from competition but his sleds, designed and built on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, mean that he will still have a big impact on the World Cup and Olympic circuit.

Bromley made history in 2008 when he became the first slider to claim the Triple Crown by winning the World Championships, European Championships and overall World Cup titles in the same season.

The 43-year-old, who was national number one from 1996 to his last international season in 2014, also secured the overall World Cup title in 2004 and further European Championship golds in 2004 and 2005, as well as a European silver medal in 2009 and a World Cup bronze in 2000.

He featured at four Olympic Games, in Salt Lake City in 2002, Turin in 2006, Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014, finishing fifth in Italy nine years ago.

On his achievements in the sport, Bromley said: "Winning the treble didn't sink in at the time but that was the season I was the most proud of. It was the first time in the history of the sport that anyone had won all three competitions in the same year and it came at a time when pretty much everybody had written me off.

"The overall World Cup title is the special one for me. From a purist's point of view, it's the hardest and probably the most prestigious event to win. The Olympics and the World Championships are special but to say you are world number one in your sport over a whole season is the one I coveted the most.

"The 2008 overall World Cup title is my favourite achievement simply because it was a hard fight all the way through: it went right to the wire in the last race and all the best sliders from the previous five years or so were in that competition. To bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on a medal in Turin and to dominate again was a big achievement for me.

"I'm very proud of what I've achieved, including representing my country at over 100 World Cup and championship events and four Olympic Games, but now is the right time to move on to other things."

Those "other things" include building Bromley Sports into the most advanced sliding sport product manufacturer in the world.

Founded as an indirect spin out from a BAE Systems sports technology initiative, Bromley Sports specialises in athlete-focused engineering technology, with a state-of-the-art test facility that helps finesse sporting talent.

"Dr Ice" (so-called due to his PhD in Materials Engineering) decided to learn to ride Skeleton sleds to create more testing opportunities and efficiency for the sled R&D.

Co-founding the business with his brother, Richard, Bromley Sports is based inside the AMP Technology Centre and supplied 22 nations at the 2014 Winter Olympics, including Britain, Norway, Russia, Switzerland and Korea. It can count over 150 medal successes to its product/customer's names.

The firm ships between 100 and 200 bespoke sleds to athletes around the world, but is currently moving into the recreational arena, having designed and developed a patented sled for an exciting new snow activity, Baseboarding.

Andi Schmid, performance director at British Skeleton, said: "Kristan enjoyed an incredible career on the international stage and very few athletes can rival him across all sports, let alone skeleton.

"He has had a massive impact on skeleton in this country, and the rest of the world, both in terms of his own sliding and the impact of the Bromley brand.

"To be in and around the medals for close to 20 years is quite remarkable and to win all three titles in one year was an incredible achievement that very few people will ever be able to match. He was, and still is, the model for all other British male sliders."

Bromley Sports website

Images: Bromley Sports / Mackney Photography

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