Joel Fearon insists fear has made way for assurance as he gets ready to attempt to break a 50-year gold medal drought for British bobsleigh at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Fearon landed in Russia at the weekend calmness personified as Britain’s No.1 four-man crew bid to repeat the gold medal winning efforts of Tony Nash and Robin Dixon at Innsbruck 1964.
That hasn’t always been the case though and rewind back to July and Fearon wondered whether he would be in Sochi at all after experienced pilot John Jackson ruptured his Achilles in training.
What has happened since has been nothing short of remarkable with Jackson recovering enough to make history alongside Fearon and fellow crew Stuart Benson and Bruce Tasker.
Fifth and 0.07seconds short of a medal at the World Championships before the injury, the British quartet claimed historic World Cup and European Championship silvers this season.
And Fearon admits the path they have taken since that potentially Games-ending moment in July has put him at ease – no small feat in a sport which requires him hurling himself headfirst, eyes closed down a tube of ice at 90mph.
“I think we are much stronger as a team because of that. We didn’t really know what to expect at the start of the season or what direction it was going to go in,” said Fearon.
“And, for us, it has gone in such a wonderful direction and just being here at the Games you are already thinking that at the start of the year we didn’t know what to expect.
“Now we’re here and we’re in a good position and everyone is in good shape. We are so much stronger and enjoying it a bit more. It has taken the edge off it a little bit and we are really appreciating each other.
“We are getting a lot of exposure at the moment and we have had such good results throughout the year that there is this enjoyment.”
Fearon along with Jackson, Benson and Tasker will be the last Brits to complete their campaign at the Winter Olympics in Sochi with the four-man event not scheduled to start until Saturday and finish on Sunday.
However Fearon, who competes in bobsleigh during the winter and track and field as a sprinter during the summer, insists that doesn’t add any more expectation.
“There is no pressure on being the last Brits to go. We have been preparing for this for quite a long time. I think it is really exciting for us,” he added.
“It is nice to be part of the whole finishing process and part of the whole big bang finish. And I will be at the closing ceremony.”
© Sportsbeat 2014