Former Woldgate student aiming for Olympics glory with RAF and Great Britain in two-man bobsleigh team
A former Woldgate School student is living life in the fast lane, representing the RAF and Great Britain in a two-man bobsleigh team.
SAC Alex Cortes-Tankard is the brakeman in a team piloted by Cpl John Stanbridge.
The RAF team is hoping to earn a spot at the Winter Olympics in 2026 and has been training hard despite the complications caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pairing so far have had nine weeks of sliding on ice, travelling 8,500 miles, competed in four European Cup Races, conducted 40 Covid tests and achieved two x 20 finishes, which exceeded the targets set by the Great Britain Bobsleigh Luge Skeleton Association.
The team is hoping to attract funding in the bid for Olympic glory after backing for the sport was cut in 2018.
Alex said: “Our main focus is to reach World Cup level and fight for a spot at the 2026 Winter Olympics, but we need to build our portfolio and gain more sponsorship along the way due to our funding being cut in 2018 by UK sport.
“I discovered bobsleigh in 2019, attending RAF trials and competing in the inter-service championships.
“I was then offered a brakeman spot for the 20/21 European season, representing GB as part of the development squad.
“Sport and fitness have always been a priority of mine and I like to continuously build and test my body’s capabilities.
“Ideally, I want to take my GB representation further and see if I can earn a spot at the Winter Olympics.
“My family are very supportive and my mum loves the sport.
“It must be scary for her seeing the crashes which occasionally happen but normally they aren’t too bad, just a few minor ice burns and maybe a sore head!
“We are looking for more sponsorship so if you would like to support us please email [email protected] and I can then send out more information.”
An RAF spokesman said: “When Alex attended the GB trials in summer 2020, his athletic ability was immediately evident, ranking top amongst the pool of development athletes.
“He has demonstrated that he has the focus and dedication to be competing at the very highest level; We expect to see him breaking into the GB1 and 2 crews in the extremely near future.”