WINTER OLYMPICS: JJ’s a real winner with Paula
4:00pm Friday 28th February 2014 in By Dan Barnes
ONE OF the biggest steps to adjusting to life post-Sochi 2014 for Paula Walker will be getting used to having another JJ around the house.
Five husky puppies born to an abandoned mother during this month’s Winter Olympics were named after potential Great Britain medallists.
And after receiving good luck messages on behalf of the four-legged JJ during the Games, Walker and her partner and fellow Great Britain bobsleigh pilot John Jackson decided to adopt his fluffy namesake.
Walker, who lives in Trowbridge with Jackson, finished 12th in the women’s two-man event alongside brakewoman Rebekah Wilson in Sochi last week and says she can’t wait to relax after the trials and tribulations of the Games.
“We have thought about getting a dog for a while so when we heard about JJ, we thought why not get one named after John?” said Walker, who is also a corporal with the Royal Signals.
“We went to visit him this week and we’ll take him home after our military commitments in Austria. On Saturday, we’re both flying out to compete (in the Inter Services Ice Sports Championships).
“I’ll be representing the army and John will competing for the Navy, so we’ll be up against each other – it brings our season to a close and once that’s done, we can finally have a few weeks off, because it’s been absolutely exhausting.”
After failing to build on her first two runs on the final day of competition in Sochi, Walker, who was 11th alongside Kelly Smith at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, readily admitted that she was disappointed with her final performance.
The Great Britain ace is now waiting to see if her UK Sport funding will continue into the next four-year Olympic cycle.
“I was obviously a bit disappointed with my result but I was happy with three of my four runs and I was delighted to see John finish 0.11 seconds off a medal,” said Walker.
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens with my funding.
“Us athletes will find out the same time as everyone else, so we’ve just got to wait for an announcement.
“I’d love to say that I’m going to another games but we’ll just have to see what happens next.”
FOR MORE SPORTS NEWS, REPORTS & PICTURES SEE FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @WTSport