Bath’s ‘Golden Girl’ Amy Williams to receive honorary degree from University of Bath

Olympic Gold medallist Amy Williams MBE will receive an honorary degree from the University of Bath in recognition of her distinguished sporting career as a skeleton racer, on Friday 23 June.

Amy won Gold in the women’s Skeleton event at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, in doing so becoming the first British athlete to win a solo Winter Olympic Gold medal in 30 years and the first by a woman for 58 years.

A local girl, Amy was educated in Bath at Hayesfield School and Beechen Cliff School before completing a Foundation Degree in Sports Performance from the University of Bath in 2007. Amy also has family ties to the University, her father, Ian, is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry.

Amy began training at Bath in 2002 making use of the newly-installed push start track at the Sports Training Village. She was invited to join the British Skeleton development programme and quickly began to hone her sliding skills. In 2005 she came 2nd in the World Student Games and the World Junior Championships, before winning a Silver Medal in the 2009 World Championships, along with several other World Cup Medals.

Following winning Gold in Vancouver, Amy was awarded an MBE in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours and became the first-ever female Honorary Freeman of the City of Bath. That same year, she was short-listed for the 2010 BBC Sports Personality of the Year and received the Daily Mail’s Ian Wooldridge Award.

Since retiring in 2012, Amy has enjoyed a number of successful careers. She has presented on numerous TV shows including BBC’s Ski Sunday, Channel 5’s The Gadget Show and commentated on skeleton and bobsleigh for the BBC, as well as featuring on The One Show, Blue Peter, A League of Their Own and Top Gear to name just a few. She hosts, presents and speaks to many companies, businesses & schools, working with clients such as Lloyds Bank, The Post Office and Panasonic.

In 2004, Amy was inducted into the University of Bath’s Hall of Fame for Sport joining fellow Bath athletes Jason Gardener and Ben Rushgrove.

Most recently Amy gave birth to her baby boy Oscar Nash and lives happily married in Bath with husband Craig Ham.

Amy Williams MBE said: “I'm flattered but delighted to be awarded an honorary degree. The University of Bath, and especially its outstanding sports facilities, has been a very important part of my life for many years, ever since my school days here in Bath. I could not have achieved what I did without the opportunities provided by the University.”

Director of Sport at the University of Bath, Stephen Baddeley, added: “As a resident of Bath and a graduate of the University, Amy’s historic achievement in winning Gold in the Winter Olympics brought immense profile and recognition to the University of Bath and it is highly fitting that the University is recognising her considerable contribution through the conferring of an honorary degree. I’m extremely honoured to have been selected to deliver her oration.”

If you'd like to attend simply email Lisa Ashcroft on l.d.ashcroft@bath.ac.uk. The ceremony will take place on Friday 23 June at 3.45pm in The Edge.

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