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Lightfoot goes from ski novice to Olympian in seven years

January 15, 2014 07:34 am

Amanda Lightfoot admits her Olympic ambition hasn't been burning for long - but she's still ready to seize her chance in Sochi.

Lightfoot will be the first British women's biathlete to compete at the Olympics since Emma Fowler in Turin eight years ago.

And considering the 26-year old, who serves in the army's Adjutant General's Corps, had never skied seven years ago, she's certainly not hanging around.

"I didn't join the military to be a biathlete, it just sort of happened," said Lightfoot.

"I was out in Iraq and when I came back they were looking for people to go skiing and it seemed a good idea but I'd never been on snow or even seen the sport before. 

"I quickly took to it and I was top novice at my first British Championships and that's when I was selected for the development squad. I suppose it's my personality but the more I did it, the more I wanted it.

"I never dreamed that I'd be an Olympian. I remember watching the summer Olympics on television but I never really had a goal to be an athlete. But once I started in biathlon, it quickly became a bit of an obsession. 

"I was watching the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and that's when I decided I really wanted to go to Sochi and I'd do everything I could to make this team."

Lightfoot, who was part of Team GB's Olympic ambition programme at the London 2012 Olympics, will be hoping for a better experience in Sochi than her performance there at last year's test event.

And her target is qualification for the women's pursuit and securing a future World Championship place in Russia with a top 30 finish.

"Sochi's not got the happiest memories after last year's test event," she added.

"I came off the track and suffered a knee injury that needed surgery in April. I was coming down a bend when I hit some ice and went crashing into a tree and I thought any Olympic ambitions were over.

"I knew I'd qualified from last season but I still had to show the form this season to prove I could get my place.

"I was overwhelmed when I found out about my selection, tears and laughter combined.

"It has been a worthwhile journey to get to this point in my sporting career. I will enjoy every minute but I've also got my performance targets to achieve."

© Sportsbeat 2014