Turney confident she will rise to the occasion in Sochi

Anna Turney starts her Paralympic campaign tomorrow with high hopes.  Picture: Lieven Coudenays
Anna Turney starts her Paralympic campaign tomorrow with high hopes. Picture: Lieven Coudenays

Having gone to sample the experience four years ago, Warwick seated skier Anna Turney admits she heads out to the Sochi Paralympics as a completely different athlete this time around.

The 34-year-old made her Winter Games bow in Vancouver 2010, finishing an impressive sixth just four years after breaking her back.

Since then she has been busy working her way up the rankings, with an impressive season seeing her record top-three finishes in Canada, USA and Austria before being announced in the seven-strong Great Britain Paralympics ski team last month.

The oldest member in the team and certainly no stranger to the big occasion, Turney is counting down the days until her second tilt at Paralympics glory at the Games which run until March 16.

And while she is much more of a household name in skiing circles this time around, the Warwick skier believes she is better prepared for the big occasion.

“I went to the Vancouver Winter Paralympics in 2010 and finished sixth in the slalom which was a massive achievement,” said Turney. “I was ranked 16th so it was a lot better than I was predicted to do.

“I was only a new athlete back then. I had only been skiing for two-and-a-half years and so I was sent to Vancouver for experience whereas this time I am a much more experienced athlete. I’m now competing in World Cups, with all the different disciplines.

“It is completely different this time around. I guess there is more pressure now. I’m at a very different level in my career.

“It is just amazing to be part of the Paralympics. It’s such a huge multi-sport event, It’s a great experience and I can’t wait.

“I’m just aiming to go out and ski fast and be a real competitor.”

Racing in the seated skiing category is scheduled to start tomorrow, meaning Turney will not have to wait long for her moment in the spotlight.

The skiers will be joined in Russia by the wheelchair curling team as Great Britain chase their target of between two and five medals.

And while the attention is on performing to their very best, Turney is intent on having as much fun as possible.

“The ski team is really mixed in terms of age and experience. There are really great characters in the team,” she added.

“Some of the experienced athletes will help out the less experienced athletes and vice versa.

“It can be really refreshing to work with people who haven’t got the same pressure on them and just for us to remember that it is important to have fun and then you are going to achieve top results.”

Sainsbury’s is a proud long-term supporter of the British Paralympic Association and a champion of inclusive sport for all. For more information on Sainsbury’s commitment to inclusive sport visit: www.Sainsburys.co.uk/activekids