Eurosport - Tue, 16 Feb 22:43:00 2010
Tom Iveson wrapped himself in cotton wool in the build up to the Winter Olympics but insists the shackles will be well and truly off when he lines up at the Pacific Coliseum on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old has been part of Britain's short track speed skating team for the past nine years but has seen all his attempts to make his Olympic debut blighted by injury.
In a bid to ensure history doesn't repeat itself this year Iveson chose to compete within himself after being officially announced as part of the seven-strong British team in January.
But Iveson will compete individually in the 1000m as well as the 5000m relay and admitted he can't wait to stop holding back and let loose in Vancouver.
"In the weeks leading up to the Olympics you can get a little bit apprehensive because the last thing you want is to get injured and miss out," he said.
"You are much more concerned about the minute details of every move you make on the ice because - no matter how hard you try - you are thinking about the Olympics.
"I was injured before the trials for the 2006 Games and it was a case of what might have been for me and that has played on my mind a little bit.
"It was heartbreaking not to be in Turin and it is something that I do think about. My first Olympics are so close now and I just want to get out there on the rink now and compete."
Despite his self-imposed softly, softly approach, Iveson will line up in Vancouver with spirits high having helped guide Britain to 5000m relay bronze at the European Championships in Germany last month.
Iveson admitted to feeling the effects of his efforts in Dresden upon his return back to the UK but is adamant it was worth it in order to send a message out to those nations outside Europe.
Britain have now claimed world and European relay bronze since the last Olympics in Turin in 2006 and Iveson is adamant they can complete the cycle by medalling in Vancouver.
"The aim for the last four years has always been to get a medal at the Olympics," he added.
"In 2008 we won relay bronze at the World Championships and we know that on the right day we can get a medal.
"We have one of the best teams in the world and one of the best support teams too.
"And if we can be in a good frame of mind we should certainly be able to medal in Vancouver."