Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 February 2006, 19:35 GMT
Driving ambition
By Anna Thompson
BBC Sport at the Winter Olympics

Helen Upperton could be the one that got away as far as British winter athletes go.

Helen Upperton
Upperton is in with a shout of a gold medal

The 26-year-old competes for Canada in the bobsleigh but her parents are both British.

Dad Kerry hails from Portsmouth and mum Hilary comes from Southampton, but Upperton was born in Kuwait as her parents worked in the oil industry and travelled extensively.

Upperton holds a dual British/Canada passport and moved to Canada aged three.

Driver Upperton and brakeman Heather Moyse finished fourth in the Olympic bobsleigh, just missing out on becoming Canada's first female bob medallists.

She told BBC Sport: "I could have competed for Great Britain but I have grown up and lived in Canada for almost all my life, so I chose Canada.

"I have been back to Britain lots of times and my grandparents and aunties and uncles are all watching me on the BBC."

My parents have come to cheer me on but they will also be cheering for the British girls
Helen Upperton
Her parents were at the Cesana Pariol track to cheer their daughter on - waving Canadian maple leaf flags.

"It is not strange for them because they have come to cheer me on. But they will also be cheering for the British girls as well," she added.

Upperton was initially a triple jumper while studying at the University of Texas but knee injuries scuppered her athletics career.

She became a personal trainer in Toronto but in 2002 was spotted by ex-Canadian Olympic bobsleigh crew member Matt Hindle and recruited by Bobsleigh Canada.

Upperton is a self-confessed thrill-seeker and quickly excelled at the sport, becoming the driver in 2003.

This season she has been on the World Cup podium four times, including winning for the first time in St Moritz in January.

And she was happy with her Olympic effort, despite just missing out on the medals.

"I'm really happy with the overall performance and a little frustrated at not getting a medal," she said.

"I think everybody competes for the medals, but coming fourth is not a disappointment."


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport