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Lyne heads five-strong Ireland team

Alpine skier Conor Lyne will lead a five-strong Ireland team to the Winter Olympics in Sochi next month.

Ireland's youthful squad will also include 16-year-old snowboarder Seamus O'Connor and 17-year-old skier Florence Bell, plus skeleton racer Sean Greenwood and cross country athlete Jan Rossiter.

Ireland has never won a Winter Olympic medal but came close in 2002 when Clifton Wrottesley finished fourth in the men's skeleton in Salt Lake City.

Lyne, who will compete in the slalom and giant slalom in Sochi, told Press Association Sport: "Ever since I started skiing competitively as I teenager it has been my dream to represent Ireland at a Winter Olympics.

"When you come from a small country some people say why sent them, but you have got to start off somewhere and who knows, in a couple of Games we could be looking at medals.

"The sport and the tradition needs a push to get going. The Jamaican bobsleigh team are a great example of a team that started out and kept improving.

Ireland Chef de Mission Stephen Martin said: "We expect the Games to be an important milestone in the development of Irish Winter Olympic talent and are confident of excellent individual performances in the face of severe competition from the alpine nations."

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