Ulster pair going for glory at the Winter Olympics
Published 23/01/2014 | 01:30
Local interest in the Winter Olympics will be at an all-time high when the Games begin in Sochi next month with two Ulster competitors named in the Great Britain team yesterday.
Figure skater Jenna McCorkell and snowboarder Aimee Fuller will be part of a 56-strong GB squad at the Russian Games.
McCorkell, from Coleraine, will take part in both individual and team figure skating events.
The 27-year-old, who last month clinched a record 11th British title, will call it a day at the end of the season after almost two decades in the sport.
McCorkell will retire after the World Championships in Japan in March.
She competed at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver four years ago, finishing 29th.
"It was an amazing experience I'll never forget," she said.
"Walking out at the opening ceremony, the feeling was just overwhelming.
"That's something nobody can ever take away from you – you always have those memories.
"In Vancouver, I didn't have my best skate. It was just one of those days.
"I'm in a better place mentally now than I was then so hopefully it will all be okay. I'm excited about Sochi. It's getting closer and closer.
"The training is starting to pay off so my results have been gradually increasing and I hope that will continue and I skate my best there.
"After Sochi, I'll go to the world championships in Japan and then I'll retire," McCorkell added.
"I've achieved more than I could ever have dreamed of and I hope to have a good end to the season and then that'll be me done."
Fuller will compete in Sochi after meeting the qualifying criteria at the weekend, having her place in the team confirmed yesterday.
The 22-year-old snowboard star is a high-flying eighth in the World Cup standings for slopestyle, which involves heading down a course which includes rails, kickers and jumps.
Fuller, who grew up in England but now lives in Holywood, is regarded as one of her sport's brightest stars.
"It's official! I qualified for the Olympics. So hyped woop!" she tweeted yesterday.
The Winter Olympics starts on February 6.