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BOBSLEIGH: I'm back on track
BOBLSEIGH star Paula Walker feels in the best shape of her life as the countdown to next year’s Winter Olympic Games draws ever closer.
Women’s GB1 pilot Walker, 27, who lives in Paxcroft Mead with partner and men’s number one pilot John Jackson, is hoping to make it to her second games at Sochi 2014 after competing at the Vancouver Winter Olympics alongside Kelly Thomas in 2010.
The 2011 World Junior champion saw last season blighted by the leg injury she picked up during a crash at a World Cup event in Altenberg, Germany, in January but is back fighting fit, with next February’s games firmly in her sights.
“Rehab’s gone and injuries are in the past so I’m probably in the best shape I’ve been in for my entire career, which is a good place to be going in to the games,” said Walker, who finished 14th at the World Championships with brakewoman Gillian Cooke in St Mortiz, Switzerland, a month after her Altenberg crash.
“Altenberg’s one of my favourite tracks and we were in bronze position but unfortunately, it was one of those crashes where I came on to the corner slightly too late and there’s not enough time to save it.
“What happened with that is that Gillian Cooke injured the vertebrae in her back but we both had to carry on for the world cup to get to the Sochi world cup (in February).
“To be honest, I’ve had quite a few crashes, so if I let every single one get to me, I’d never get down a track. With every mistake there’s a lesson and the lesson is not to go on that corner too fast.”
Walker clinched an 11th-placed finish on her Olympic debut in 2010, overcoming a a horror crash in her third training run on the Whistler track.
Now, with less than six months to go until the opening ceremony in Russia, the Great Britain ace says that her sense of anticipation is building.
Walker said: “In one sense it’s been such a long time but in the other sense, it’s like yesterday that I went to Vancouver – the transition of that four years has just gone so quickly.
“The fact that it’s coming is nerve-wracking but it’s also quite exciting. I remember preparing this time four years ago as a novice.
“We’re in a good position and that we’ve done everything that we could possibly do in the lead up to the games and now it’s a case of ‘just let’s just do it’.
“(The next six months) will come by really quickly. Week-by-week, when we’re travelling from location to location, it just flies by for us.
“Hopefully we’ll get the Olympic qualification and then it’s on to the games.”
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