Bex Wilson has taken plenty of risks to find herself on the verge of her Winter Olympic debut – and while they have all appeared to have paid off – she knows the job isn’t done yet.
The 22-year-old’s build up to Sochi 2014 has been unconventional to say the least as she chose not to compete in her chosen sport of bobsleigh at all the season before the Games.
Instead she spent the year effectively locked in the gym in an attempt to get herself physically fitter and mentally tougher than those hoping to push No.1 British pilot Paula Walker in Russia.
She also moved from the British team base in Bath back to Manchester but saw her hard work behind the scenes – and gambles – rewarded with a place alongside Walker on the World Cup tour.
Selection onto the British team for Sochi followed but, having beaten the likes of former world champion Gillian Cooke to a place pushing for Walker, Wilson is adamant she still has plenty to prove.
“It’s been a really difficult year, really difficult. Gill is a fantastic athlete and I knew last year if I was going to make the step up to get back in that seat with Paula that I had to do something special,” she said.
“So I took a year out from the sport, went back home to Manchester, kept myself to myself, knuckled down and trained hard so I could come back and be the best athlete I could be.
“Gill’s a fantastic athlete but luckily I managed to jump up and get that number one spot. I increased everything in the gym – I made sure that I got faster and mentally stronger.
“And I just had this dream of what it was to have the Olympics in my sights. Thankfully that’s become a reality but now it is about performing in Sochi and being successful.”
Wilson might not have competed in bobsleigh in 2013 but she stepped out onto the athletics track – competing over 60m during the indoor season and then the 100m during the early part of the summer.
Cooke is herself a multi-eventer in track and field and competed in the long jump, triple jump and javelin last summer but Wilson insists there is no animosity between them.
“We’re good friends. Because you’re away for six months of the year it’s close-knit. You eat, sleep and train together with everybody,” she added.
“You have to get on, it becomes like a family. Everyone’s competitive but we’re also happy.”
© Sportsbeat 2014