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Lee Jackson: Vancouver was fun but I’m serious for Sochi

Olympic Blog

November 11, 2013 09:10 am

I probably started thinking about Sochi, pretty much as soon as I got home from making my Olympic debut in Vancouver.

I know what the Olympics are about now and I just want to go there and focus on performance, rather than the experience, glitz and glamour that surround the Games.

I’m excited by the prospect of another Olympics. I’m older, more mature and more experienced and I think that will help me.

I want to compete against the best and do my very best, that’s what makes me train hard and make the sacrifices that I do.

I just missed out on Turin 2006, so Vancouver was the end of an eight-year process just to become an Olympian and be a part of Team GB.

I wasn’t at my best physically in 2010, my best result was 55th in the sprint and improving on that would be my first aim in Sochi.

I’ve reached the qualifying standard but nothing is assured until I get that letter from the British Olympic Association.

I need to prove I’m the best person to take the slot I’ve qualified, nothing is guaranteed yet which makes the World Cup season so important.

The off-season is so long in our sport. We finish in March and don’t start competing again until the end of November, you have to keep in shape all that time and then make sure you are at your best when it matters.

I’m living in Italy because it gives me extra training options. I’ve been working six to seven days a week for some time now and doing 12-15 sessions a week to get ready for this season.

Biathlon is changing. In Turin the average age was about 28 for a medal winner, in Vancouver it dropped quite significantly. Athletes from Nordic nations are maturing quicker; they are getting more consistency at an early age.

But as a British biathlete it’s very different. It’s a ten-year journey to get to a level where you can establish good results at international level and then you’ve got another four or five years before you can look at breaking into the top 30 in the World Cup and then you are probably ready to retire.

I will be 34 just a few days after the Games and, if selected, I hope to give myself an early birthday present with my performances.

© Sportsbeat 2013

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