Team GB Bobsleigh driver Bruce Tasker has recently joined Isobar Compression as an ambassador. Bruce is wearing Isobar compression socks for travel and recovery as he competes across Europe this Winter. Here Bruce tells us about life in a bobsleigh.
“I started off as a sprinter and represented Team GB over 400m. That was my first love. I was studying at the University of Bath when I first came across the British Bobsleigh team who were based there. They asked me to try out, but I said no at the time. A year later, I had decided to quit sprinting and as I was looking for another sport to take up, decided to give the bobsleigh a try. They threw me in at the deep end by asking me to go to Italy to compete in an event straight away, even with raw technique! We finished 6th in my first race and I enjoyed it so much, I decided to continue.
“I spent two years working in bars and restaurants all summer, to fund training and competing over the winter months. In 2012 we then managed to finish 10th in the World Championships, which meant we qualified for National Lottery funding and I became a full-time bobsleigh athlete.
“We’d gone from 21st in the world to 10th, then 5th a year later and now we’re 4th. Our next big challenge will be the Winter Olympics, the big showcase for our minority sport. We have a team of three and I’m the driver, but overall there are 15 elite bobsleigh athletes. We compete in the World Cup Series, which involves eight races every year and a World Championship. It means that we’re away for five months of the year between October and March competing all over Europe. We spend a week in each destination training and competing, then bundle into a transit van to travel to the next destination – which could be a 12-hour drive.
“There is a lot of talk about DVT and flights, but travelling long distances in a van is a big risk especially after being highly active when competing. Your legs are immobile for long periods and also we can’t afford to take a day off from training to recover from the travelling. That’s why I’m now using Isobar Compression socks. They give me a peace of mind that I’m not risking my health through the travel, and it gives me an extra day to train when we arrive.
“Every athlete is looking for the extra 1% gain in performance and I think Isobar does that for me. I don’t have heavy legs after I travel, which is a real bonus for my recovery. The socks fit great, are comfortable and I trust them to deliver the right compression I need.”