CHARLOTTE Gilmartin insists her second trip to Sochi already feels a whole lot different to her first and she’s determined to ensure her results go the same way too.
Gilmartin and the rest of the five-strong British short track speed skating team for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics were among the first athletes to arrive in Russia.
And she and the team have been busy re-acclimatising with the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi having raced at the test event just over a year ago to the day.
Gilmartin finished 12th and 21st from two 500m races on that occasion but will skate over all three individual disciplines on her Olympic debut in Russia.
That encompasses the 1000m and the 1500m as well and, she admitted, the venue feels different in training.
“I would be pleased if I could just come away with a good performance and a good performance for me would be getting in the medal zone and being competitive with everyone out there,” said Gilmartin.
“The place is incredible. The lights are so bright and there are cameras everywhere. It feels so much different this time around. There’s an atmosphere about being here and I can’t wait to get going.
“It feels like making my Olympic debut is a long time coming, I didn’t qualify last time but I came very close. So it has been more of a six-year run for me than a four-year run, and I am really looking forward to it. I came close enough last time for Vancouver 2010 but at that point I don’t think I was really ready to go to the Games.”
The British Olympic Association is the National Olympic Committee for GBR and NI.
The BOA prepares the Best of British athletes for, and leads them at, the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games.
The BOA is dependent upon fundraising income to achieve its mission – www.teamgb.com @TeamGB Gilmartin won European 15000m bronze just over a year ago and claimed relay silver on the continent last month although the British quartet failed to do enough earlier in the season to qualify for Sochi 2014.
“I believe I can compete with everyone at the Games and not just simply turn up. I have been with the British short track team for seven years now and when I first joined it was very minimal,” she added.
“But over that seven years there has been a phenomenal amount of change. There is so much more support for all of us. We can have things like physios whenever we need them and stuff like that.
“Being able to have that kind of thing there – you can’t put a price on that – it is great to have that there.”
The British Olympic Association is the National Olympic Committee for GBR and NI. The BOA prepares the ‘Best of British’ athletes for, and leads them at, the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. The BOA is dependent upon fundraising income to achieve its mission. www.teamgb.com @TeamGB