Parr savours every moment of his Olympic experience
February 6, 2014 17:01 pm
Matthew Parr's Olympics could be over before the Games have officially begun - but he will still treasure every second of his moment in the spotlight in Sochi.
The four-time British men's figure skating champion was the first on the ice in the brand new team event, in which skaters scores in four disciplines performances are added together to give an overall score.
He produced a personal best short program, smashing his old 49.32 mark with a 57.40, but ranked ninth out of ten in the men's competition.
Only the top five nations after the men, women, ice dancers and pairs have completed their short routines will be allowed to take part in the free skate next week - and Great Britain face a daunting task to overhaul their number ten in the world ranking.
But Parr was just happy to achieve his ambition - even if it was all over in just under three minutes.
"It couldn't have gone better for me, my goal was to get a personal best and I've achieved that, so I'm very pleased and it went as well as I could have hoped," he said.
"The build-up has been intense because this is what I've been aiming to do since I was a kid. It was a nice release to have finished and put in a performance that I'll be proud of. In years to come I can look back and say I did as well as I could.
"This everything I've ever wanted as an athlete and to be able to say I've competed at an Olympic Games for my country is a very proud moment that I will treasure forever."
Parr even got the chance to warm-up alongside Evgeni Plushenko, an ageing sporting icon in Russia, whose bid to be selected for these Games was endorsed by none other than President Vladimir Putin.
And he also received some pre-competition words of advice from British figure skating legend Robin Cousins, who won gold at the 1980 Games in Lake Placid.
"I caught up with Robin earlier and he just told me to take it all in, enjoy it as much as I can, leave everything out on the ice and be proud of what I've done to get here," added Parr.
"I'd like to skate again but either way I'm proud of my performance and I'm going to enjoy supporting the rest of the team now, not just the figure skaters.
"I'll only have fond memories of my time here. It just feels incredible to finally become an Olympian."
© Sportsbeat 2014