John Jackson-Bobsleigh

Hometown: County Durham
Sport: Bobsleigh
Event: Four-man and two-man
Games: Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014

In a tin can nicknamed the "meatwagon", John 'Jacko' Jackson's four-man bobsleigh team finished an incredible 5th place at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. With a crew including Scot Stuart Benson, Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon, his time over four runs was just 0.11 seconds off a medal. This was Team GB's best result since their brilliant bronze in 1998.

John also represented Team GB in the two -man and four-man events at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The Vancouver Games were Jackson's first Olympic Winter Games. Along with Henry Nwume, Dan Money and Allyn Condon, his team was placed 17th in the four-man bobsleigh, whilst Jackson and Money were disqualied in the two-man bobsleigh following a crash.

A Sergeant in the Royal Marines Commandos since 1996, John is a Physical Training Instructor specialising in injury rehabilitation. Since 2005 Jackson has juggled training and competing around Royal Marine life. Following the 2013 World Championships, in St. Moritz, where the GBR1 crew were placed 5th, John was awarded Elite athlete status by the Royal Navy.

Tragically in July 2013, John ruptured his achillles during a routine training session at their base in Bath. He was referred to Profession Gordon Mackay at Rosshall Hospital in Glasgow for a ground procedure that would see him racing four months after surgery. Following surgery Jackson spent a significant amount of time at the Team GB Intensive Rehab Unit at Bisham Abbey. At the Unit he worked with the world-class medical team who fast tracked him back to full fitness in preparation for the Olympic season.

Jackson was back competing at the end of November only four and half months after the operation where he saw his hard work pay off after winning silver at four-man world cup in Lake Placid - GB's first world cup medal in 16 years

His sporting motto is "some want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen".

The following questions were prepared by Parkside Primary School, Chingford to support John with his Athlete of the Month appearance.

How do you feel when you bobsleigh?

At first you get very nervous, but now it's excitement to be racing with your team mates.

What is your motivation source and what is your training timetable?

My motivation is my own belief that I can be better and to keep pushing my self to be better. I've just started back training and it is all gym and track work up until October when we start sliding again.

What do you do in a training session?

We do lots of sprint training, lots of strength work and lots of power. Bobsleigh is an explosive sport so we need to be fast.

Have you ever crashed? If so were you scared?

Crashing happens and it's not nice when you're still doing 80mph on your head with up to 630kg still doing 5G. I'm more worried about my team mates at the time, but usually it's just a few bumps and bruises.

How do you feel when someone in your team does something wrong? Do you want to scream or go back in time?

It's one of those things. No one tries to do things wrong, but I do sometimes get a little annoyed, but that's because I'm old and grumpy.

What inspired you to do bobsleigh?

I've always liked adrenaline sports and going fast and Bobsleigh is a combination of both. The perfect sport.

Have you had any injuries?

In July 13 I completely ruptured my Achilles and the medical team thought my Olympic games was over as it usually takes 9-12 month to be fully fit. I competed in my first competition 4.5 months after my operation and came 5th at an Olympics 7 months after.

How did you feel when you joined Sochi 2014?

It's always a great feeling to join Team GB in an Olympic environment. To compete for your country at the highest level is an amazing achievement and an honour.

How dangerous is bobsleigh?

It does have its elements of danger, but that's what adds to the excitement. When your pushing the limits of performance sometimes you go beyond those limits and Crash.

When did you first start bobsleighing?

I first started in 2005 and got into it through the Royal Marines, which I'm still serving in. From the I was selected for Great Britain in 2006, but never thought I'd ever compete at 2 Olympics.

Were you good at sport at school? What were your favourite sports?

I've always been good at sports and I've always played football as my main sport.

Do you have to eat a special diet? We eat all the right stuff that we need to, but sometime might have a sneaky KFC or Macdonalds.

When you started bobsleigh was your wife happy?

It is mainly my daughters that didn't like me being away from October to March and only home for a week over Christmas. They missed me and I also miss them too.