Biathlete Sam Cairns knows that keeping his calm could prove vital on the eve of his Olympic debut but he admits that is proving harder than it sounds.
Cairns is part of a 17-strong British team currently in Brasov, Romania to take on the best the continent has to offer at the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival.
The 17-year-old is one of three biathletes in the squad and will first compete in the 12km individual event on Tuesday as well as the 7.5km sprint on Thursday.
And, in a sport where controlling your heart-rate can prove decisive in the shooting range, Cairns insists it is with overwhelming excitement that he is representing Great Britain.
“My dream is to compete at an Olympics proper one day so to be going to this event is a nice little stepping stone to try and get me there,” said Cairns.
“In biathlon it’s all about being relaxed in the races. This is my first international competition and this will be as tough as I have ever faced but I find that exciting.
“I’m ready to compete and show what I can do. I would love to get into the top half of the field because that would get me IBU qualification and then beyond that anything higher would be a bonus.
“I will take a lot from this as an experience; it will be great to race against the best in Europe, to try and learn from them and improve my own abilities.”
© Sportsbeat 2013