Winter Olympics - Financial woes to hamper Noble

Eurosport - Wed, 03 Mar 15:50:00 2010

British alpine skier Andy Noble admits it is back to life and back to reality after returning from his maiden Winter Olympic campaign in Vancouver.

Olympic Games 2010 Vancouver Podium Feature - 0

The 25-year-old saw his preparations rocked a matter of days before the opening ceremony in Canada when national governing body Snowsport GB was plunged into administration.

Noble vowed to forget about his off-piste woes until he returned home and showed fight to finish 36th during his first outing at Whistler Creekside in the giant slalom before breaking into the top 30 in the men's slalom to finish 29th.

However, after flying back to the UK on Monday, Noble faces the prospect of fending for himself for the foreseeable future.

British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt has pledged his support to the establishment of an interim Ski and Snowboard governing body but, without funding or coaching for the rest of the season, the Scot admitted the high of competing at the Olympics won't be lasting long.

"I think it will be back to worse than reality, the programme isn't looking great and we are pretty much on our own now for the rest of the season," said Noble.

"I have got to get back in my car and go out and travel to races and go as hard as I can. That is all I can do and expect and hopefully I will get some results.

"But despite all that I was pretty relaxed and just tried to enjoy the experience in Vancouver. The weeks leading up to the Games were very difficult but once we arrived, everything run smoothly

"It is doubly hard when you aren't being supported and I try not to put any blame on anyone. At the end of the day when I am out on the course it is just me and I have to come up with the goods.

"I believe in my skiing and I believe I can do it with or without a coach, I know within myself I can do it."

Fellow British alpine skier David Ryding is in the same boat as Noble, having also returned from his debut Olympics on Monday.

And while the 23-year old earned bragging rights over the Scot in the men's slalom, finishing two places ahead of his teammate in 27th, the Brit knows his immediate future looks bleak.

"I need a car so I can get out to Europe and drive around and compete," said Ryding. "I need to do some slalom races and try to win and get some money.

"The coaches will stick with us but it is a matter of whether we can find some funds to cover their costs and pay them because they have got to make a living as well.

"It isn't going to be easy but myself and the rest of the British skiers are determined and we will all pull together and get a programme going between us.

"We can all ski better than we showed at the Olympics. Personally I have made a lot of mistakes and hopefully in four years time there will be none of that."

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