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Bobsleigh news - Bruce Tasker announces retirement after eight-year bobsleigh career

Tasker announces retirement after eight-year bobsleigh career
By Sportsbeat

12/10/2018 at 13:42Updated 12/10/2018 at 13:54

Olympic bobsledder Bruce Tasker has announced his retirement from the sport, calling time on an eight-year career that sees him set to win a retrospective bronze from the Sochi Winter Games.

Team GB's four-man team finished fifth in 2014 but, following the disqualification of two Russian crews last year, the quartet of Tasker, John Jackson, Stuart Benson and Joel Fearon are in line to be bumped up.

The medal would be only the second for GB in the four-man since 1936, and Tasker admitted that the news had him "shaking."

But the 31-year-old missed out on a follow-up Games in PyeongChang earlier this year after suffering from a minor stroke.

Posting on social media, he said: "I have been meaning to post this for a while, but I guess I've been putting it off, but I have to announce that after eight roller-coaster years in the sport of bobsleigh, I am retiring as an athlete.

"It has been a ridiculously fun few years where I've met and worked with some incredible people, made life-long friends, travelled to some amazing places and if I may try to be profound, grown as a person."

A former sprinter, Tasker made the transition from the track to the sled in 2010, finishing 22nd in the four-man event at his maiden World Championships in Koenigssee.

That was his first of six, which included two fifth-place finishes at St Moritz in 2013 and Winterburg in 2015.

The Welshman was also part of the quartet that won silver at the Lake Placid World Cup event in 2013, and bronze in Park City last year.

After the Sochi Games, Tasker undertook training to become a bobsleigh pilot, where he finished fourth at the 2016 World Championships in Austria alongside Fearon in the two-man event, GB's best result in the discipline for 50 years.

"It's a decision I've not taken lightly and one I have been thinking about for over a year," he continued.

"The stroke I suffered early in the year certainly had an impact but, after eight years in the sport, I was preparing to step down anyway.

"I wish all the athletes the best of luck this year and hope that one day I can be involved in the sport again."

And speaking on Tasker's decision to call time, British Bobsleigh head coach Lee Johnston said:

"He was heavily involved in some of the country's biggest success stories in recent years and he made a massive impression as both a driver and a push athlete.

"It's not exaggerating to say that there are very few British bobsleigh athletes that have achieved so much as both a brakeman and a pilot at the same time: Bruce got world-class results in the back of the sled and in the front.

"For me, Bruce Tasker epitomises what is required to be a bobsledder. He is a true professional, a true athlete and, more importantly, a true gent."