Nordic skier Smith ready for Olympic debut

09 February 2014 / 06:11

Callum Smith had Commonwealth champion swimmer Hannah Miley putting him through his paces ahead of his Winter Olympic debut in Sochi today.

Commonwealth champion Miley is famed as one of her sport's toughest trainers and Smith has been taking notes as he looks for a top 50 finish in today's 30km cross country skiathlon.

"Hannah has been helping me with a bit of strength training, but I'm not much of a swimmer," said Smith.

"It's my first Olympics and I'm only 21, so I've got to be realistic about my expectations. I would be over the moon to make the top 50 because I'm so new to the sport and people take time to develop."

Smith is taking inspiration from team-mate and fellow Scot Andrew Musgrave, 23. He finished 51st, 55th and 58th in his three events in Vancouver four years ago, but hit the headlines last month when he beat the best of Norway to win their national sprint title.

Like Musgrave, Smith is a product of the Huntly Nordic Ski Club's youth system under coach Roy Young.

"Roy is great at getting young skiers involved and is so enthusiastic about the sport," said Smith.

"I went to an open day when I was eight and haven't looked back.

"We're a small nation, but we're getting more competitive and our financial support is better now. Andrew's results have made a big difference. You get much more respect when you turn up in British kit now because of what he's done."

© Sportsbeat 2014