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Four sports, four nations but Shoebridge is ready in Sochi

February 12, 2014 10:32 am

From South Africa to Canada to Britain and now to Sochi – it has taken four sports and four nations for Richard Shoebridge to make his Olympic debut.

But the Games are almost upon him and the 28-year-old former footballer, cricketer and inline skater but current short track speed skater can’t wait.

Born during South Africa’s Apartheid era, it was Johannesburg where his short track journey started and which helped with a move to Canada aged 11.

From there he found himself in Ontario and then Calgary, where he studied at University, before moving to Britain after the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Scouted by the British team, nearly four years of hard work paid off when he was selected to compete in the 1000m at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

His wait until day two of the short track competition to skate in the preliminaries is almost over and he’s happy knowing what’s around the corner.

“I watched a lot of the Vancouver Olympics on TV – being in Calgary – it was pretty amazing. I can’t compare it to here because I wasn’t there,” he said.

“But the there was a lot of television coverage – obviously because they were the home nation – and I am really excited to see how it is here.

“When I first started it was more because my friends and I wanted to try it.  It is a family sport; my mum is a referee and my dad is a coach and still races today.

“The only reason my family was in Africa was because my grandpa transferred his job from England to South Africa and Johannesburg.

“I was born there as a British citizen because of Apartheid reasons then moved to Canada because things in the country were gong downhill – politics.

“It was just an overall more positive lifestyle for them. I skated the entire time and at the age of 24 I went over to England and joined the team.”

© Sportsbeat 2014