Figure skater Parr determined to seize Olympic opportunity
December 30, 2013 08:38 am
Matthew Parr has vowed to seize his Olympic chance - no matter how long it lasts.
Four-time national champion Parr will be the first British male figure skater to compete at the Games since three-time Olympian Steven Cousins, who finished sixth in 1998 in Nagano.
He will only compete in the new-look team event in Russia and his Games could be over before the opening ceremony begins, unless the British team - ranked tenth in the world - break into the top five nations that qualify for a second skate in the event.
However, Parr certainly has no complaints about getting an opportunity to be part of the show.
“When the team competition was announced it was always going to be my best chance of getting to the Games,” said Parr.
"Our national ranking had to be high enough and I'm very grateful to the rest of the team because it's really their performances really that have got me to Sochi.
“I always thought we would be in the top ten but it wasn't until the final rankings were confirmed by the International Skating Union that we could really relax.
"The British Olympic Association still had to confirm they were going to take the space and it was such a relief when they did."
However, Parr still had to book his slot, which he did with a nervy victory over nearest domestic rivals Phillip Harris and Harry Mattick at last month's nationals in Sheffield.
"Whatever happens in Sochi the British Championships was probably the most pressure I've ever felt in my life,” he added.
"I hadn't had a particularly good season, so going into the nationals I was really playing catch up and I knew I had to win by a certain margin.
"In the short program I beat my main rival by 15 points and he just gave up really. I still had to execute my free skate but I feel proud that when the stakes were at their highest, I delivered."
© Sportsbeat 2013