Belfast Telegraph

Sochi 2014: Jenna McCorkell in the swing to net success

By Frank Brownlow

Figure skater Jenna McCorkell will look to Ulster's superstar golfers for inspiration when she takes to the ice at the Winter Olympics.

McCorkell has watched Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell win four Majors between them, with the latter's 2010 US Open triumph a particular highlight.

McCorkell and McDowell are from the same part of the country, the golfer from Portrush and skater from Coleraine. Clarke has lived near Portrush for the last few years.

There has also been Coleraine sporting success courtesy of rowers Alan Campbell and Richard and Peter Chambers.

"The golfers are doing well – Graeme, Rory and Darren – and Graeme is from just around the corner from me," said McCorkell (pictured).

"There are a lot (of sportspeople) from my town. I know Graeme, I don't know Rory, I know Darren Clarke and the rowers as Alan's parents live next door to my parents and the Chambers brothers' family live next door to my granny.

"So for such a small little town, there have been quite a lot of athletes from there."

As a record 11-time British champion, McCorkell is no stranger to domestic success – last year's win was her eighth in succession.

The 27-year-old has best finishes of 14th at both the World and European Championships and was 29th on her Winter Olympics debut at Vancouver 2010.

This time round she will compete in the historic first-ever Olympic figure skating team event as well as the ladies competition in Sochi, the Games getting under way tomorrow.

"In Sochi, you have Kim Yuna, the Olympic champion from Vancouver, you have strong Japanese girls and the Americans are strong too – Gracie Gold is outstanding. Everyone has got to do it on the day and is capable (of that)," said McCorkell.

"And you can't forget about the Russians. At this year's Europeans they were first and second in the ladies; first, second and third in the pairs; and second and third in the men's.

"So it will be tough but you never know what could happen and I am going to give it my best shot."

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.

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