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Fiona Hughes: Another year off studying to reach Olympics

Olympic Blog

December 2, 2013 09:30 am

I roomed with Amy Williams on my Olympic debut at Vancouver 2010 and the last almost four years seems to have flown by.

I have met up with Amy once since the Olympics, it was weird seeing her, it doesn’t really seem like three-and-a-half-years ago – it has flown by.

I have combined racing and studying for a degree in engineering at Queens’ College in Cambridge over the past few years, which works but it just makes you very busy.

It limits the amount of time I can get on snow and the races I can get to but to qualify for Sochi I need to put everything into it and maximise my chances of qualifying.

And that is why I have held off on the studying now. The last few years have flown by but I feel I have come on as a skier so it is exciting. It seems weird that it has come around so quickly.

I had already applied for university before Vancouver and I deferred, so I spent a year skiing and by the end of the 2008-09 season I was within reach of qualifying for the Games.

It was a chance that I wasn’t going to miss, so I took a year out again but since then I have been studying although I have taken another year out again now.

As a sport we don’t really mix with other sports because our competitions schedules are completely different, we are in different parts of the world at different times.

Even our World Championships are Nordic World Championships so we don’t really bump into all the different winter sports until the Olympics.

It is a quite a different experience. Although a lot of the major championships are similar in terms of the number of events and the media interest and pressure, the Olympics is nothing like it.

I went up to the track to watch Amy compete and they [the British skeleton team] had a lot of extra support staff there but they also take reserve athletes more just to get the experience.

Our qualification standards are set on FIS points and the lower the FIS points the better. Ours is done on our FIS-point average, the average of our top-five races.

I am pretty confident that, if everything goes to plan, come mid-January when the qualification period ends, I will be qualified.

I will be doing a mixture of Continental Cup and World Cup races. The first World Cup I am planning to race is in Lillehammer coming up.

I will then do a couple of more World Cups in the lead up to Sochi.

© Sportsbeat 2013