Matt Weston is determined to continue Team GB's run of scintillating skeleton success when he makes his Winter Olympic debut at Beijing 2022 next month.
The 24-year-old from Crowborough heads to the Chinese capital in a British squad featuring Marcus Wyatt, Brogan Crowley and 2018 bronze medallist Laura Deas aiming to add to the 1,000-plus medals achieved by British athletes since the advent of National Lottery funding to elite sport in 1997.
Britain have medalled in every Olympics since the sport was reintroduced in 2002, most notably Amy Williams' gold in Vancouver and Lizzy Yarnold's back-to-back titles in Sochi and PyeongChang.
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And former rugby player Weston takes inspiration from that past success as he looks to make an impact and ascend the Olympic podium.
He said: "The day I started in 2017, I thought: if I'm going to do this sport that's the only goal I have in mind, to go to the Olympics and try to perform the best I can on the world's biggest stage.
I knew the track record and the success British skeleton has had. In my first ever year in skeleton I saw Lizzy win Olympic gold. That was a massive inspiration for me and my whole career since then.
"It's always been the females who have had the success but it hasn't stopped us guys trying to push boundaries and have that success for ourselves.
"That's almost inspired me even more to break the trend and be successful myself, and bring the men's side up as well."
A World Cup triumph last November, backed up by a string of top-ten finishes since then, means that Weston is a genuine medal contender in Beijing.
With the Games getting ever closer by the day, he hopes to use that World Cup triumph and upcoming training to his advantage in the hunt for the medals.
"When I'm on it I can compete and beat the world's best, so it's given me a little bit of confidence going into the games," said Weston, who is one of over 1,000 athletes who are able to train full-time, access to the world's best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support thanks to vital National Lottery funding.
"Hopefully I'm in that position at the Olympics, and I will have taken that experience from earlier on in the season to just be able to perform my best.
"Right now my focus is getting as strong and as fast as possible physically, as we're not on ice. When we get to Beijing and we've got a couple days training, It'll be trying to put in place all the processes you don't see when I'm not sliding.
"In terms of targets, I'm hoping to go there and perform the best I have this season, but at the same time if you ask any athlete where they want to be, it's at the top of the podium."
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