By Paul Osborne

Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold has visited aspiring Olympians at a Power2Podium trial to offer them motication and advice ©Getty ImagesSochi 2014 gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold has backed her inspiration on the track with a little off it as she visited aspiring Olympians at trials for the talent search initiative Power2Podium.

Yarnold has as bank of experience when it comes to talent searches with the Sochi 2014 heroin having been discovered through a previous talent programme Girls4Gold in 2008.

The 25-year-old shared her experiences with athletes at London's Lee Valley Stadium, as well as offering them motivation and advice.

"Coming here today and seeing all the athletes in testing brings back so many memories from Girls4Gold," she said.

"Most of all this reminds me of the passion I had at that time.

"These athletes have a whole world of possibilities ahead of them and I think that's what's so special."

Power2Podium: Skeleton is a nationwide search for male and female athletes run by UK Sport, the English Institute of Sport (EIS) and British Skeleton, with the ultimate aim of discovering world-class athletes for the future.

Around 900 young Olympic hopefuls applied for the programme with 664 invited to one of three weekends of initial testing across the UK.

Successful athletes will then progress to specific assessments over the summer looking at how they sprint on the push track at Bath University.

The next phase will be an intense camp in Bath, before athletes are taken out on ice to experience sliding for the first time in the autumn.

Many of the aspiring athletes applied for the Power2Podium programme after Lizzy Yarnold's inspirational performance at Sochi 2014 ©Getty ImagesMany of the aspiring athletes applied for the Power2Podium programme after Lizzy Yarnold's inspirational performance at Sochi 2014 ©Getty Images

"While we're looking for really powerful, explosive athletes capable of a strong push start, we are equally keen on finding athletes who have the potential to learn to drive," said Stewart Laing, senior lead performance pathway scientist with the performance pathways team.

"It's not just the physical elements that are important; it's also the cognitive and psychological elements that add up to make a successful athlete."

Many of the athletes invited to the trials were inspired to apply after watching Yarnold and many others at Sochi 2014.

One such athlete was Ben Hughes, a national level sidecar passenger who read up about the campaign after watching Yarnold power to victory in Russia

"If I could get to the Olympics that'd be absolutely awesome, I've always been a competitive person and I've always wanted to race, so competing at the very highest level and applying myself every single day would be a dream come true," he said.

Commenting on the inspirational power of her Olympic victory, Yarnold said: "My favourite thing is talking to people who watched the race and screamed at the TV and hearing how much it meant to them.

"Looking ahead I want to keep inspiring people and keep giving them those moments that can bring the family together.

"I've got Pyeongchang which is four years away, but I've not yet been world champion, I've been World Cup champion and Olympic champion, so I want to complete the set."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
February 2014: Yarnold wins skeleton to maintain 100 per cent British medal record in event