Sochi 2014 Team GB hopeful
Almost four years ago luger Adam ‘AJ’ Rosen was told by doctors that he would be lucky to walk again after a crash while training on the 2010 Winter Olympic track in Whistler.
However, having overcome the dislocated hip suffered to compete at Vancouver 2010 and continually afterwards, Rosen is determined to make his third Olympics in Sochi his best yet.
Rosen finished 16th on his Olympic debut at Turin 2006, three years after first appearing for Britain, before battling back from his crash to match it at the next Games in Canada.
In a sport where Germany currently dominate every luge discipline, Rosen might not have been near the podium but he had his own agonising near-miss on both occasions.
For 16th is just one place shy of the best finish ever achieved by a British luger with Jeremy Palmer-Tomkinson claiming 15th at the Lake Placid Games in 1980.
The 28-year-old was none other than 15th going into the fourth and final run at the Whistler Sliding Centre only to drop down a place to 16th after being the 19th quickest.
A finish of higher than 15th at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi would certainly make Rosen Britain’s outright best ever luger having achieved the nation’s best World Cup finish in 2009.
Rosen surpassed the best effort of 13th from Nick Ovett, brother of track and field 800m Olympic gold medallist Steve, by finishing sixth at the penultimate World Cup of the 2008-2009 season in Calgary.
This season has seen Rosen claim a best of 23rd on the World Cup circuit while the same position at the World Championships back in Whistler marked his best at the event.
And, with one more World Cup leg left this season, that also the Olympic test event in Sochi, Rosen will be hoping to build on his feeling that next year’s Games can be his best yet.
“The one thing that is really driving me towards Sochi is the belief that I can really do well at these Olympics,” said Rosen before the start of the season.
“I’m really trying to push ahead and see what I can do with the proper training equipment. It does get very tough and if I didn’t have this belief it would be easy to give up. But I have made too many sacrifices to do that now.
“I dislocated my hip and tore four ligaments in October prior to Vancouver, and the doctor said I’d be lucky to be walking again by the time the Olympics came round, so although I didn’t do as well as I hoped, to actually be there competing was an achievement.
“For Sochi, I’m hoping that everything will be in place to give me the best possible opportunity to succeed. I don’t think I would be happy with myself four years down the line if I didn’t give it my all. I do not want to leave this sport with any regrets.”
© Sportsbeat 2013