Montell Douglas

Montell Douglas is a British Track and Field and Bobsleigh athlete and the first ever British female Summer & Winter Olympian. Montell represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing in both the 100m and the 4x100m relay. In 2008 she broke a national record that had stood for more than 25 years running the 100m in just 11.05 seconds. Montell won Commonwealth Gold in the 4x100m relay in Delhi in 2010 and has also competed at both the European and World Championships.
Her switch to Bobsleigh came in 2016 and her first bobsleigh race for Great Britain came in early 2017. Montell managed to finish in the top ten on her World Cup debut before going on to win at the Europa Cup with Mica McNeill. The Gold in the event was Britain’s first Europa Cup Gold in seven years.

Now to achieve all of the above takes a remarkable talent but we often know there’s a lot more to every story than just gift and so we asked Montell how she’d become the champion that she is. Montell said she’d started in competitive athletics at just 13 years old and even then at 5 ft 7 it meant she was naturally gifted at high jump and was breaking every school record you could think of. Unfortunately a really serious injury meant she had to stop jumping and to all intents and purposes, it probably looked like her athletic dreams were finished. Anyone else might have given up at that point but a steely resilience in Montell, meant that when her first coach Ray Turnell encouraged her to take her sprinting a lot more seriously, she took up the challenge and began to apply the same dedication to that as she had during her stint as a High jumper.

Looking back, there was actually quite a big clue as a child that sprinting  might always have been something that was going to be an important part of her journey. Montell was always fast even at Primary school and recalled that because of her speed and talent, the teachers used to make her run against the boys at school sports day, just so it would be fairer and a little less distressing for everyone else concerned. The  teachers insisted that this was the only way they would allow her to compete despite her Father’s complaints, who quite rightly would have been delighted to see his little girl running her own race and dominating like the champion she was destined to become.

Montell told us that in all her successes in sport and life, it was always about giving of her best and making the most of her God given talents. She told us “My focus was always about fulfilling my potential, I’ve always been obsessed with being the best version of myself, even when things weren’t always going right I kept my faith.” Knowing Montell had a strong faith in God led to the question, of whether that had helped her when any of those more challenging moments had occurred. Montell answered “My faith meant that when I was in the shape of my life and then snapped my hamstring off the bone in early May 2017, 9 months out from the Winter Olympics, I put my faith to work and set a plan of how I wanted things to turn out. My mum told me “try your best and let God do the rest”… so I did.” The rest as they say is History.

I’m sure many of you are thinking that Montell must be some kind of Superhero with that story behind her but she knows that’s not the case. She believes she was and still is, just like many of you. Montell knows and believes that God has great plans for every single one of us including you. It doesn’t matter what your background or your situation, what you’ve ever done or where you have been, that doesn’t change the fact that you have the potential for a great future and so Montell’s closing message that she wanted us to relay to all of you guys was  this, “I hope my story inspires and ignites the belief that you can truly do whatever your heart desires. That there are no limits to what is possible.”

We’re not Sure what Montell has planned next, after just returning from the Winter Olympics last month The North America circuit may be calling in early 2019 and obviously there’s a 4 year cycle to the next winter Olympics which right now is a long way away but you can be sure that whatever she does, it will be spectacular and we’ll definitely be staying in touch with her now that she’s a part of our family, to see  just what that is and just how she does.