GB Bobsleigh Competitor and Former Rugby Player Olly Butterworth is interviewed in NuroKor's 'Meet the Ambassador' Series

GB Bobsleigh Competitor and Former Rugby Player Olly Butterworth is interviewed in NuroKor's 'Meet the Ambassador' Series

Great Britain Bobsleigh team member, former rugby player, and 400m runner. Olly joined the GB Bobsleigh team in the Summer of 2019 and has been a serving paratrooper since 2018. He had previously joined the Parachute Regiment team before stepping up to Army colours and recording the fastest time at the Inter-Services Championship.

How did you get into bobsleigh? 

When I joined the Parachute Regiment I was spotted by the bobsleigh team for my athletic ability. After completing trials for the team I entered full-time training with the Paras Bobsleigh Team and then shortly after the British Army Bobsleigh Team.

Why do you love bobsleigh? 

Bobsleigh is one of those sports that until experienced first-hand, you will never have true respect for the speed, g-force, skill, and calibre of athlete you need to be able to compete on the world stage. My first time down a track was actually a crash. After that, I was hooked!

The idea of trying to push harder and faster so you’re on the edge of what is physically possible has had me locked in like no other sport ever has.

What does your usual day look like?

My usual day starts around 0800, breakfast and packing my bag ready for the day ahead! I’ll arrive at Bath University (the home of GB Bobsleigh) around 0900 and head straight for the indoor track to start a sprint or push session. That will finish up around 1100, then I head up to the athlete’s lounge to fill my body with the food it needs to recover. After eating my body weight in food, I’ll go down to the hydrotherapy pool to start a short pool session (this is basically a sprint warm-up in a pool.) I then finish with a lovely, freezing cold ice plunge pool - as if the morning hasn’t been painful enough! At this point, an hour relaxation is more than appreciated. 

My break comes to an abrupt end when the barbells and lifting platforms start calling for my return to the gym! A quick change back into lycra and lifting shoes has me ready for the last session of the day. The lifting session will start around 15:00 and finish at 17:00 just in time to catch the rush hour traffic home. Once home it’s a case of eating and recovering, also trying to relax which is hugely important. Once the pasta dishes have been devoured and the NuroKor pads have been stripped off my legs, I head to bed around 2200 ready to start it all again in the morning.

What is your proudest moment? 

My proudest sporting moment to date was crossing the finish line with the team after a horrific crash in the 4th heat at the World Champs. Our very own “Cool Running’s” moment as some would say, but for us, it was finishing a race with our body’s intact and our heads held high. The incredible reception from the crowd and the team relief that every one of us was somehow unscathed is something I will never forget. My first World Champs as a rookie and one I am determined to rectify come next season!

If you weren't an athlete, what would you be? 

If I wasn’t an athlete I would be heavily pursuing my career as a Paratrooper. Training hard both physically and with the skills needed to be an elite soldier. Being deployed to some of the darkest corners of the world would be a life filled with risk and adrenaline. Becoming a Paratrooper was one of the proudest moments of my life and being able to carry the Regiments name whilst being an athlete on the world stage is an honour and a privilege.

What injuries have you had and how did/ do they affect you? 

As for injuries, touch wood I’ve been incredibly fortunate. 90% of the season has been injury and niggle free. However as injuries tend to, they come and bite you at the worst time. In the two-man week of the World Champs, I picked up a hamstring injury that caused me to step down from the race. As if that wasn’t hard enough, the four-man week was only five days away and with a looming hamstring injury there was a possibility I might not be fit to race by then. This is where the work of physios and NuroKor was absolutely vital! Within four days the physio sessions and the hours of using NuroKor had me back tearing the ice up!

How does NuroKor help you and your team manage your recovery? 

NuroKor’s involvement with the team never goes under-appreciated. Between training heats and training sessions, the lads and I will use the gear to keep us going throughout the day and manage small niggles we may have. In the evening, we can then sit down and get full use of the kit to put our body’s through what’s needed to make sure we are recovering at the best rate possible. The intensity of a bobsleigh season is unforgiving, having NuroKor to hand day-in-day-out has kept the team injury-free, and once injuries have occurred the kit has got to work and stamped it out quickly.

Where do you use it? 

One of the best things about NuroKor is you can use it wherever and whenever you need it. Inside, outside, on the move or laid in bed. The variety of ways it works means you’re never restricted to what you want it to do or where you want to use it. This makes our lives and our recovery so much easier!

What's next for you? Next big goal?

Next on the list for me is the off-season. Stripping away everything back down to foundations and building up again. This is an incredibly tedious and brutal time on the body. So recovery is just as important as the sets and reps I’m putting in.

The aim is not just a successful next season, but being on the podium and showing the world the result of all the hard work we put in as a team.

However, I try not to get ahead of myself and focus day-in-day-out on making my body the best athletic product it can be! With help from Semtex Systems, who plan and program my hideous weeks and the recovery from NuroKor, I’ll be in the best shape possible come next season. The biggest aim for most athletes is the Olympic Games, 2022 Beijing. For myself, standing at the Olympics representing not only my country but the people and sponsors who have been fighting for us to be there would be the biggest sporting honour. The day-to-day goals stay fixed, but the bigger goals never fall far from sight.