WINTER Olympic hero Kristan Bromley returned to Rossendale for his first medal of the season the Rossendale Alive medal.

Kristan, known as Dr Ice, was brought up in East Lancashire and attended Waterfoot Primary School and Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School. His parents still live in the valley.

Following his fifth place at this year's Turin Winter Olympics in the bob skeleton event, the then Mayor of Rossendale Coun Jeffrey Cheetham invited him to receive a token of the council's appreciation of his success.

Kristan, who designs the sled he races, began his visit to Ski Rossendale last week with a question and answer session with 20 keen winter sports enthusiasts from his old school, Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School. Ski Rossendale is where Kristan first learned to ski and developed his passion for winter sports.

He attended a civic presentation in honour of his engineering and sporting achievements with the bob skeleton event and for what he did to raise the profile of Rossendale during the 2006 Winter Olympics.

He was presented with the Rossendale Alive Medal and a signed certificate from the Mayor in recognition of his outstanding technical and sporting success.

His brother Richard, who manages Kristan, planted a tree in nearby Whitaker Park to permanently mark Kristan's achievements and the borough's civic presentation.

Entertainment was provided throughout the presentation event with live performances from the visiting JBO Brass Quintet from Rossendale's twin town of Bocholt and an aerial acrobatics show on the Ski Slope from the Salomon freestyle team.

Rossendale's Mayor Peter Steen said: "We are delighted to welcome Kristan back to his home borough to celebrate his achievements.

"We thought he was very unlucky at the Olympics and wanted to make sure he wasn't empty handed."

Council leader Coun Duncan Ruddick added: "Kristan has demonstrated everything that is good about Rossendale working hard, being willing to take risks and a tenacious determination to succeed against all odds.

"He is a very worthy recipient of the Rossendale Alive Medal.

"He has truly lived up to the Rossendale Alive values of our borough."

In 2003/2004 Kristan was world No.1 and won the bob skeleton World Cup Series.