To celebrate the Winter Olympics, Blue Peter brings you a snow sport special. Radzi takes on a very special skeleton bob challenge, and Lindsey gives snowboarding a go.
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The Winter Olympics have begun
and the Winter Paralympics
are just around the corner.
And to celebrate both awesome Games,
we have come here,
to the gorgeous Swiss Alps
On today's show, we've got
a lot of speed, a lot of ice,
and a whole lot of snow.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!
Who said they could do...?
Start the show!
Hello, and welcome to Blue Peter.
Now, first things first, when
you are in this gorgeous location,
with one of my favourite
in the entire world happening,
there's one thing to do.
A Swiss happy dance. Hey!
Now, I'm not going to lie to you,
that was quite difficult
in the snow.
But I'm also absolutely pumped
about the Winter Games
because of the calibre
of the Team GB athletes.
The likes of Elise Christie
and Lizzy Yarnold
are unbelievable talents.
All the athletes will be looking to
get themselves onto the podium
and bring home some silverware.
But how is it even possible, you
might ask, for a British athlete
to be at the top of their sport in
a country that has hardly any snow?
Lindsey went to find out
when she tried snowboarding inside.
I'm in Manchester to find out about
one of the most popular sports at
this year's Winter Olympics -
But we're missing a key ingredient.
That's more like it!
This is the UK's longest
indoor ski slope,
and the perfect place
to have a go at the basics.
My instructor, John,
begins by teaching me
to control myself
using the edges of my board.
Keep your head up, look over
my shoulder, that's it. Toes up.
I'm an experienced skier
but this is so different
to anything I've learned before.
It's just when I start going
left or right,
I get freaked out that one side's
going to turn down the mountain.
Both feet fixed together
feels really strange to me.
I've done it.
And I just have to accept that
..is part of the process.
This is terrifying. Ow!
But I'm not going to be beaten.
I am determined to get down
the slope in one go.
And with a bit more practice,
I finally manage a full run.
Very good, slow it down,
slow it down.
All right, yeah, good skills!
I made it all the way down! That
felt quite good, you know.
So, there's regular snowboarding...
there's freestyle snowboarding.
And THAT is what I'm interested in.
This is Katie Ormerod,
one of the finest freestyle
snowboarders anywhere in the world.
thank you for being on Blue Peter
and well done on earning your badge.
First things first,
what is freestyle snowboarding?
Freestyle snowboarding, basically,
if you just think of regular
you go down the hill a bit,
you then throw in other obstacles,
so rails, or jumps in.
You can basically be
as creative as you want to be
going off these jumps, doing spins,
flips, do whatever you want to do.
This is slopestyle.
This involves snowboarding
down a course
performing a variety of tricks
over obstacles along the way.
We're sat on the mountain at the
moment and down there I can see
a jump, a lump of snow, basically,
which is, is that a kicker?
Yeah, you can call it a jump but
some people also call it a kicker
cos its main purpose is to
kick you up into the air.
Katie, that was immense!
You made that look so easy.
That's what I would call a classic
backside 420 spin off the kicker.
It's a backside 360, but...
I got some of it right! We're close.
Katie started snowboarding
when she was just five years old,
and she's not the only one.
This is it,
we've got the squad here.
Who is ready for a jam session?
I think there's only one thing
left to say. Go on, John.
THROUGH LOUD-HAILER: Let's do this!
Indoor slopes like this one
mean more young people
can give snow sports a go.
I'm Travis and I'm six.
Yeah, Travis, whoohoo!
I like jumping over things.
I love skiing because
it's fun and rewarding
when you land a new trick.
Yeah, a grab!
Hi, my name's Mia, I'm 10.
I love snowboarding because
you can learn all different tricks
and you can be creative.
But I can't stand back and let
these guys do all the hard work.
It's time for me to step forward
and put my very basic skills
to the test.
OK, so, good session, guys.
All right, so, you've seen what
these guys have got,
so let's see what YOU'VE got.
So, whether you like it or not,
we've built the biggest jump to ever
grace the Chill Factore.
Here we go!
Are you ready?
Even that looks massive to me.
I know it looks rubbish to you guys.
But I'll give it a go.
Anything for the BP badge.
Don't laugh at me, please.
This is my moment.
My chance to become
the queen of the slopes
and soar through the air like Katie.
Here goes. Just keep it steady,
Linds, and don't fall over.
You've got this.
Here we go! Come on!
OK, not the biggest jump
in the world, but look,
there's space below my board!
Which means technically, I've just
performed my very first air.
Do you know what,
I am a bit embarrassed
cos that wasn't the best jump
ever, was it, guys?
But it has been so fun learning,
and I've loved it. Thank you, John.
Go give snowboarding a go.
Awesome, isn't it?
What an effort, Linds!
Hey! Linds. How are you? Linds...?
What, you don't think this is
Lindsey Russell? Ah, my mistake.
I do apologise.
THAT is Lindsey Russell.
And now we've got the old gang back,
who'd like to see some post? Linds?
I'll take that as a yes.
This has been sent in from Ava,
who's 12 years old,
and what a Spot Shelley book
that is, Ava.
I love playing Spot Shelley
and that has got you
your very own silver badge.
Next up, it's Alya
who's just six years old
and the creativity used to create
is off the charts, Alya!
Loving your style.
Hermione, who's 14, has sent us in
this work of art.
The Blue Peter ship.
The expertise in that, Hermione,
is absolutely fantastic.
Oliver and Jelena,
six and eight years old.
You've sent in, I think,
the second-best snowman
I've ever seen in my entire life.
Isn't that right, Linds?
Actually, it's the best.
Erin, who's eight years old,
has made this fantastic Shelley.
I tell you what, if I had your
artistic skills at eight years old,
I think I'd become an artist.
Linds, hasn't it been fab?
She's really not been herself
today, has Linds,
but please do keep sending in
your post to the usual place.
We love it and it might get you
your very own Blue Peter badge.
Next up, when Linds is much more
is when me and her go head-to-head
in speed skating.
Travelling at nearly 60mph,
speed skating is
one of the fastest sports around.
This isn't a sport
for the faint-hearted
as skaters go head-to-head
on razor-sharp blades
just over a millimetre thick.
Radz, they are unbelievably fast.
I could watch them all day -
but rather them than me.
Imagine if that was why
we were here!
It is, isn't it?
Of course it is!
In just a few weeks, we'll be
battling it out to discover
who is the fastest BP presenter
Now, I've done a few films on ice,
And it's fair to say
I know a thing or two.
Probably still worth getting
a bit of coaching, Radz!
Enter former Olympic skaters,
Mandy and John.
We look the part.
We feel like wobbly ducks.
We are a little bit nervous today,
can you help us out?
You'll be fine out there today.
As long as you enjoy yourself
and give it a good go,
you'll really enjoy the experience
of learning to speed skate.
How are you going to turn us
from novices into pretend experts?
The more time you spend on the ice,
the more confident you'll get.
The first thing we need to learn is
how to balance
on these special speed skates,
with the help of Mr Snowman.
Oooh! Gosh, I'm not even
on the ice yet!
OK, I'm going very slowly.
I don't like this. Can you just
push me along, Mandy?
I don't want to move.
This is it, that's it.
Why is it so slippy?
SHE FAKE-SOBS AND LAUGHS
Using the snowman means
we can concentrate on our technique,
without falling over.
It's so slippy!
Ice, slippy? No(!)
Linds, how's it going?
But Mr Snowman can't hold our hands
forever, and it's time for us
to get out and do this on our own.
Bring your feet together,
bring your feet together.
That's it, remember your arm swings
as well, that's good.
Please never let go,
never let go!
Try and get your body down in the
This is so much fun.
And John decides I'm doing
well enough to work on my start.
This arm forward, this arm back
and it's just a case of running.
There we go. And then skating!
As for me, well,
I'm not that advanced just yet.
I'm speed skating!
But by the end of the day,
we've both made some real progress.
Mandy's decided to just...
I've been upgraded to coach.
A few weeks later, it's time
for our next training session
and John and Mandy kick it off
with a surprise.
Hi, Radzi, hi, Lindsey.
I'm Elise Christie and I'm the world
champion short track speed skater.
If I was going to give some tips
to newbies on short track,
I would say the first thing is
you have to get your body
really low and into a really low,
because that's really aerodynamic
The next one is that you should
just really have fun,
because it's such a fun sport
and it's all about going fast
and seeing who can finish first.
So definitely, go out there, have
fun and be excited.
Well, if that doesn't inspire,
Let's do this!
This is our last practice before
we head out onto the ice
for our challenge.
Push, together. Push....
Now we know how to stay on our feet,
it's time to try and get faster.
OK, just going to push with the
right foot, that's it.
Push, together. Push, together.
As in, like, as if you're walking,
you just get that rhythm going.
So we're not pushing, you're going,
like a duck, two, three.
All I can do is keep practising,
try and get quicker,
so I can beat Radzi.
My position has to be right,
I have to look ahead,
I have to commit,
I have to be confident.
And that's how I'm going to
beat Lindsey. Shhh!
We'll see about that, Radzi.
Next time, it's race day.
There'll be drama...
Whoa, whoa, whoa!
..there'll be a crowd, and
there'll even be a BBC commentator.
It's one-on-one, fastest over
two laps, best of three.
But will there be an ice king
or an ice queen?
Bring it on!
Bring it on.
See you out there.
Yeah, I'll see you...
Yeah, you go first.
I know we weren't very good, but it
was so much fun and I've genuinely
got the ultimate respect for anyone
that's a speed skater because
that sport is rock-hard. But stay
tuned for part number two where
Lindsey and I go head-to-head with
some fairly average speeds.
But if it's true incredible speeds
you want, make sure you watch this
next film - it will not disappoint.
And, in fact, while that's playing,
I'm going to impress the locals here
with my snowball juggling.
I've got two snowballs,
all I need is one more. Anyone?
No, not again!
I said no! Just one, please!
OK, you're going to get that one!
And you as well!
OK, while we keep doing this, you
now get to see my favourite sport
of all time - skeleton bobsleigh.
Oh, my goodness,
my heart is absolutely pounding.
And it's this that's
got my blood pumping.
I've just hurtled head-first
down an icy skeleton bob track.
Skeleton is one of the fastest
and most exciting sports in the
and when I was a student I had
ambitions of becoming a top slider.
But I haven't
been near a track for three years,
so to help me realise my dream
of sliding on ice...
..Shelley Rudman is taking me
back to basics.
Let me just show you. If you're
going to lift your head up it'll be
like that, feet up, a bit higher.
Hold on really, really tight.
It's a bit wet today so it might be
a bit slippy as well.
I'm definitely a bit rusty
but I've still got some
of the noisier skeleton skills.
After my training
I asked Shelley for some top tips.
For anyone who doesn't know what
skeleton is, what exactly is it?
Skeleton bobsleigh is where you race
head-first on your front
on a sled down ice chutes.
And how fast do you go?
You can go up to about 85mph.
There aren't any brakes
so you can't stop.
You could drag your feet to slow
you down but that's not advisable
and the curves are coming at you
and you start to almost
navigate them instinctly.
The first time is really unusual,
though, so it's...
It's very breathtaking
and it's a unique experience.
That's a tremendous
start from Shelley Rudman.
What do you think it takes to be
world-class at skeleton?
I think you have to have
a really good instinct.
You need to have really good
You need to be quite strong,
and all those components can make
you...the start of a good athlete.
And if you were, say,
ten years old, at home, thinking,
"Skeleton looks brilliant..."
Perhaps you see it at the
Winter Olympics and you think,
"I want to get involved in that,"
what advice would you have?
Try lots of different sport -
speed sports, maybe balance sports -
and try and build up
their abilities that way.
So, lots of transferable skills
from other sports that
could in the future help you
This is going to be
good from Shelley Rudman.
She will go into the lead, surely.
Big hit there but it doesn't matter,
she's in first place.
Thanks so much for joining us.
And good luck for the rest for the
Thank you very much. Cheers.
But my challenge isn't to talk
about skeleton, so I'm heading to
Igls Sliding Centre
in Innsbruck, Austria,
to link up with Team GB's
and make a high-speed run
down the world-famous track.
But before I'm allowed to slide,
skeleton ice coach Mark Wood
wants me to take in each bend
and bump of the track,
and some important safety advice.
You'll feel these little waves,
nothing to worry about.
You're going to feel it want to go,
that's OK, don't worry about it,
Just making you aware of what could
possibly go wrong as what
could possibly go right as well.
I appreciate that.
One of Mark's coaching techniques is
to encourage sliders to
visualise the course in their minds,
helping commit every twist
and turn to memory.
Big corner two.
Almost immediately into three.
Feel the first pressure,
Release as it comes off.
Squeeze this pressure
and then just let it come out.
This is the major area. The key to
get down the track is right here.
If I'm going to come off my sled
it'll probably happen here -
Got to try
and keep hold of the sled.
If you lose the sled,
push it away from you
and then keep tight in. The reason
we're pushing the sled away from us
so that it's accelerating
and we're slowing down.
If you don't get anything else on
this track apart from this...
That's all I'm really worried about
is this part.
He's going to be nervous.
I mean, he hasn't been on a sled
for quite a while, right?
It's all going to be brand-new
to him again and, you know,
you've got to imagine you're two
inches off the ice,
your face is really, really close,
and you're going to be doing about
We can't guarantee anything.
Once he's gone, he's on his own.
If anything goes wrong he's got to
get out of it himself.
Not many people choose to take
up this sport.
It's fast, furious and dangerous.
And that's exactly why it
appealed to me.
But at this moment in time
I'm not so sure.
There's a huge part of me that is
Haven't done this for a very,
very long time
and just crossing that finish
line is going to be an exhilaration
that's going to be off the charts.
But, to be honest with you,
number one is be safe...
I can't think about that too much
cos that actually does
really make me scared.
Now it's my turn.
I'm about to go at the same
speed as a car on the motorway.
Except I'm going
face-first down the ice.
After just a couple of hundred
metres I'm really picking up pace.
Before I know it,
I'm hurtling around the longest bend
in the course.
And once I'm clear of that, I'm
approaching THE danger corner.
And I'm through,
on the sled, in one piece.
And now I'm on the home straight
and loving it.
Oh, my goodness!
Oh! On the top of that run
I was thinking to myself,
"Am I going to do this?
"Come on, Radzi, come on, Radzi,
come on, Radzi,
"let's do it,
let's do it, let's do it."
Oh! And I am
so pleased I just did that.
Oh, my goodness,
my heart is absolutely pounding.
I actually loved that.
Oh, that was so good!
If you love speed, adrenaline
and exhilaration, skeleton is
the sport of you. Let me tell you,
it's definitely the sport for me.
Now here is a BP exclusive -
on the very day
we were sliding on that track,
the GB future squad were training.
One of those guys, Jerry Rice,
has now qualified for Team GB
and will be competing at the Winter
Olympics in Pyeongchang.
I'm so behind him. Alongside him -
Dom Parsons, Lizzy Yarnold
and Laura Deas.
Guys, fingers crossed, do the
business and bring home the gold.
Did someone say
skeleton at the Olympics?
Yes! So that is what is happening
at the Winter Olympics
and here's what's
happening on the BP website.
Spoon numero uno.
I can't feel a thing.
Loads happening on the BP website.
Now, this is meant to be the BP
winter sports special
so I've combined bobsleigh and luge
to make this - the BP sledge!
OK, I did just want to go sledging.
Yup, fun - but I want more speed.
Which is why me and Lindsey
are about to go
head-to-head in speed skating.
Welcome to the Nottingham Arena
and to the National Ice centre,
the Blue Peter speed skating
as Radzi goes head-to-head
to see who'll be the fastest,
who'll be the bravest.
It's best of three races around
of the National Ice Centre surface.
Plenty of nerves down on the start
line, and we're almost ready
for the start of race number one.
And we're underway in race one.
It's a good start from Radzi.
Looks like he's going to get to the
first corner first.
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!
Both of them managing to
stay on their skates at the moment
and Lindsey trying to close
the gap down the back straight.
Good support from the fans on the
far side of the National Ice Centre
as Lindsey has Radzi in her sights,
and now tries to take him
on down the home straight.
But Radzi just about manages to
fight off the first
attack from Lindsey.
I touched you, Linds!
Radzi has the lead.
He had it from the start.
Got the better start,
got into the first corner first.
And Lindsey, despite her best
has not yet been able to get
back towards him.
Now she closes the gap again.
Radzi almost stumbles
but he's going to take race number
one by about a metre and a half.
It's Radzi who wins race number one.
Radzi now knows if he wins race two
he will be the champion.
I nearly fell over a few times.
You did. I was hoping you would.
You wouldn't get out my way!
The pressure is on Lindsey as the
two skaters get to the start line.
Both of these skaters have had good
luck messages from Elise Christie,
star of the Great Britain
short track speed skating team who
trains on this very ice.
And Lindsey's made a very good
start to head number two.
Radzi just opening up his strides to
try and close the gap.
He's taken that corner very wide
but now swings in behind Lindsey
and will try and overtake
on the home straight.
Lindsey, just as Radzi did in heat
number one, has taken the inside
track, got to the first corner
and has kept her lead
throughout the race so far.
Just over half a lap to go
and Radzi knows he's going to
have to attack now.
Lindsey nice and tight round
the corner and as they come into the
home straight Lindsey is managing to
hold off Radzi's challenge.
And Lindsey with a sprint finish
gets across the line
and levels things up at 1-1.
We are going to have a deciding
race to see who's going to be
the Blue Peter speed skating
So, we're even.
It all comes down to this.
So we come to the third
and deciding heat of the Blue Peter
speed skating challenge.
One race all so far.
This is the decider. It's a good
start from both skaters and Radzi
doesn't get to the first corner
first, it is Lindsey who has
that advantage but this time they're
closer than they have been
in either of the first two heats.
Good speed down the home
straight from Lindsey
to just open the gap
a little bit further
and Radzi's got a lot of work to do.
It's Lindsey who lost the first
heat, who came back in the second
and looks as if she's got
She looks as if she's got the gap.
She looks as if she's got
the speed to hold off Radzi.
It's Lindsey who wins!
She takes the Blue Peter speed
by two races to one.
If you enjoyed watching this
even a tiny, tiny bit,
imagine how much fun you'll have
watching this at the Winter Olympics
when the best in the world are all
doing this sport
so much better than we are.
Get some skates and give it a go.
Don't forget your gloves -
It's very cold.
How much fun was that? And all I'll
say is give speed skating a go.
In fact, why don't you get
inspired by watching Team GB
compete at the Winter Olympics
and the Winter Paralympics?
In fact, watch the entire thing,
it will be incredible
and fingers crossed for every single
athlete - especially for Team GB.
Well, that's just about it for me
All I'll say is a massive
goodbye from me
goodbye from the Swiss Alps.
See you next time.
To celebrate the Winter Olympics, Blue Peter brings you a super snow sport special! Radzi takes on a very special skeleton bob challenge, Lindsey gives snowboarding a go, and the two go head to head In a speed skating race! Where better to bring you a show full of action on ice, than the Swiss Alps?