Deas targets World Championships and Beijing 2022 swansong

Laura Deas admits she does not have to look far for motivation as she begins to plot her endgame, insisting her teammates are already snapping away at her heels.

The 31-year-old made history in PyeongChang when she and teammate Lizzy Yarnold became the first British Winter Olympians to stand on a medal podium together in an individual event.

Gold medallist Yarnold has since retired while Deas backed up her bronze in South Korea by matching that medal at the World Cup event in Calgary earlier this year.

But despite no longer having her good friend around to keep her on her toes, Deas maintains she is not short of competition as she learns to embrace her role as ‘the veteran’ in the team.

“I will always miss her [Lizzy Yarnold’s] company, especially at times like this when we’re building up to going away, but we’ve got a very good strong World Cup team,” said Deas.

“I’m sort of the veteran of the team now so I suppose there are times when they will look to me for advice maybe or as a bit of a role model but they are always pushing me.

“They are young, ambitious and coming through. They want to go to the Olympic Games and achieve what I achieved and better that so that’s my motivation to keep pushing.

“They are coming up behind me and I think we work really well together. We have strong competition but we also support each other and work as a team.

“Part of me can’t believe I’ve been sliding for as long as I have now, I’ve been around long enough to be considered a veteran, but it is quite nice taking on that role.”

Deas will face her first test against fellow Brits Kim Murray and Madelaine Smith this weekend when the new season gets underway with back-to-back World Cup races in Lake Placid.

And after her last campaign was cut short prematurely by a whiplash injury, which forced her to pull out of the World Championships, Deas is determined to make up for lost time.

“My main goal for the year would be to medal at the World Championships in Altenberg at the end of the season, obviously as I missed last year which was frustrating,” she said.

“I would really like to medal there and I think it’s a track I’ve done well on historically so I think I’m in with a good chance, it’s a track that does suit me.

“But having said that, it’s in Germany which is a very strong sliding nation and they will have a very strong home advantage and the three girls that will be there swept the podium last year.

“So I’m definitely going to have my work cut out but it’s something that I believe I can do. I will be looking to peak physically for that time of the year.

“Between now and then there are eight World Cup races, which obviously need their own focus as well, but there is always the overarching focus on the end of the year.”

Once the World Championships are in the rearview mirror, Deas’ attention will turn to executing her masterplan – ensuring she goes out on a high at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

“I think for me to go to Beijing and better my bronze medal from PyeongChang would be the dream way to end my career,” she added. “That’s my long-term goal, what I’m looking at doing.”