Sliding to success: Welshpool’s Adele Nicoll sets her sights on Milan 2026

Sliding to success: Welshpool’s Adele Nicoll sets her sights on Milan 2026

Sliding to success: Welshpool’s Adele Nicoll sets her sights on Milan 2026

Local inspiration, Adele Nicoll, is no stranger to hard work. The athlete has just come away from the Bobsleigh World Cup with a podium finish, concluding this Winter season with 5 top 10 World Cup results, a Gold, Silver and Bronze at the Europa Cup, and a Silver Medal at the World Cup (Britain’s third ever medal in the women’s event).

We sat down with Adele to find out how she’s been preparing for success, her path to the 2026 Winter Olympic Games and what she’s up to within the local Welshpool Community…

Q: You’ve conquered this Bobsleigh season, representing the UK, bagging a silver medal to end the season. As these Championships were a first for you, how did you manage your nerves and prepare?

I wanted to come away feeling happy with my performance, but as I got into it, my expectat

ions grew because my performances were improving. I think it’s really difficult then to manage your emotions because there’s really no pressure to achieve anything because it was my debut and a development year. I knew that it was going to be a tough year because normally, people need nearly an 8 year development to be able to be rocking it with the best. We don’t have the time, nor the funding for that. So, the sooner I could get perform

ances, the better. We knew that, but we were trying to manage our expectations.

When I went to the World Championships, and I started to become competitive with the top 10 sledders in the world – we knew there was potential for more. So, after the World Championships, there was only one race left in Lake Placid in America. We went out there purely to learn the track, coincidentally, that is where the Championships will be next year.

Because I’d never raced there before, on the first day, I sat in the sled but didn’t even push it off! Less than 2 weeks later, we were stood on the

block, fighting for a medal! I wouldn’t say it was unexpected because I look to be confident, plus anything can happen. But, it was a very quick turnaround and we’re very proud of how we were able to perform in such a short amount of time. It’s a big confidence boost going into next year.

Q: What does your result mean for your place in the 2026 Winter Olympic Games?

The Winter Olympics are huge on the goal map. We want to go to Milan, but even beyond that, the 2030 games too. I think the performances we’re putting down now shows that we can go to Milan, not only to attend, but to be competitive.

We won’t know what the qualification quota is until we get to the Olympic year, but we can assume it may be the top 55% of the World Cup field. For instance, if there were 20 sleds in the field, we would have to get a top 10 result in 3 or more of the World Cup races to qualify for the Olympics. Coming away from this season with a number of top 10 results gives us quite a lot of confidence.

We will need to continue to develop and improve. Next year, have a full World Cup, gain more experience, and hopefully go into the Olympic year feeling ready to give it our all.

Q: The mechanics of a sled can be fairly complex. Have you had to do lots of “engineering” yourself this season on your new sled?

We’ve actually had to learn by making mistakes. Because of the situation we’re in where we are such a small federation, we don’t have a lot of staff members with us, we don’t have the access to certain materials and expertise that other nations do. Having to buy my own sled and do what we can with what we had was a challenge but made everything worth it.

I was able to bring sponsorships onboard, along with my own money to buy the sled. That’s how we ended up being in the position where we’re now coming away from the season with a silver medal. It was however sad to think that if I hadn’t managed to secure the sponsorship and funding, that that medal wouldn’t be in my hands right now.

Adele sets her sights on Milan 2026

That’s why support from companies such as Dawson Shanahan is so important because even a small amount of support contributes so much to the bigger picture. I enjoy local sponsorship because I am really proud of where I come from. I’m here to show that regardless of where you come from (even if it is a very small town) that you can do it as long as you’ve got the right support network and the right mindset.

My parents have also given me great advice and guidance. They’ve given me the basic foundations of what I’ve needed to make it and have said, “Go on and get it!”.

Q: You regularly host athletics camps for children in the summer and half term holidays, as well as speaking at schools in the Welshpool. What does your local community mean to you?

Whilst I was away at the World Cup, I was actually able to organise and run my most recent camp without actually being present. This was so nice because I could still be away competing, whilst still being able to do something for my town (Welshpool).

Q: Last year, you took part in the BBC series, Go Hard or Go Home, where you mentored as a ‘Warrior’ to help young people get their strength back to face their own personal challenges, both physically and mentally. How did you find the whole experience?

I absolutely loved that experience. It was such a good show because people were coming onto it with genuine things that they needed help with. It was so nice to see that we also helped to make a real impact. When I was involved in that show, it was a genuine reality without the staged elements. We were never told what to say.

They have alluded to the fact that the show was very successful. There is talk of a second series which they’re looking into.

Q: What’s next? Personally, and professionally, what are your aspirations for this year?

In May and June, I’m looking to compete in athletics (shotput) at the National Championships and a couple of international meets. Then we’ll be back into looking at the next winter season!

The search over the summer then continues for more sponsorship and funding to make it possible. If people can see what we’ve done this year, hopefully that will bring some more attention to the sport and show what can happen if there’s interest and support with investments.