Winter Olympics - Kilner puts Turin ghosts to rest

Eurosport - Tue, 16 Feb 22:29:00 2010

Sleepless nights are par for the course for Winter Olympians in waiting - but snowboarder Ben Kilner insists he's finally resting easy four years on from his darkest sporting hour.

Ben Kilner snowboarding (all versions not in USA) - 0

The 21-year-old was left heartbroken in 2006 after missing out on a seat on the plane to the Turin Olympic Games by a single World Cup result.

Fast-forward to 2010 and Kilner arrived in Vancouver off the back of his greatest career performance to date - a World Cup halfpipe bronze medal in Calgary two weeks ago.

And after setting his sights on a podium place at Sochi 2014, the Scot has vowed to kick back and relax ahead of his long-awaited Winter Games bow on Wednesday in the halfpipe qualification.

"I was really disappointed to miss out four years ago and it was eating away at me up until the moment I qualified for Vancouver," said Kilner.

"It just spurred me on all the way, I was really fuelled up, and while I was excited to qualify one of the big feelings was relief.

"I'm really confident going in because of how I did in Calgary - it was a massive boost at a great time.

"I was still very tired with jet lag so I wasn't expecting much but it is my best career performance to date and it has come at the perfect time.

"I'm still realistic though, I know the Olympic field will be stronger than the World Cup field so my aims remain the same."

Kilner will be up against world number one Shaun White, who is one of the highest earners in winter sports and is looking to defend the title he won in Turin.

Canadian Jeff Batchelor and Frenchman Mathieu Crepel will be looking to join the American on the podium although Kilner is hoping he can spoil the party.

"I have nothing to lose out there, Shaun White is the huge favourite but behind that I think anything can happen," added Kilner.

"Perhaps people won't be looking out for me but that will only play into my hands.

"I'm here to do my best, to soak up the experience and to continue my progression towards being a realistic medal contender in Russia.

"People have spoken about my potential but that doesn't worry me, it inspires me because I want to be the best."

More than the Games / Eurosport

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