Australia’s Greta Small takes on the big mountain
Eighteen-year-old YOG graduate Greta Small makes life seem like a breeze with her illuminating smile and relaxed demeanour; she hides well the pressure on her young shoulders given the herculean and gruelling endurance test she has undertaken as she competes in all five events in Alpine skiing in Sochi.
Last year, she won two medals in the under-18 world championships, silver in super G and a bronze in slalom. She is one of the youngest Alpine skiers in Sochi and is determined to make the most of her Olympic experience.
"I am 10 years younger than the experienced girls. I've only probably been on one World Cup and last year's world championships that had a course like this. But that's not stopping me from going out there and giving it my all."
Taking on the full programme of events at her very first Olympics was not an easy decision.
"All my events are quite evenly matched so I can't choose which one to specialise in; that's why I'm doing all five! When I'm not competing, I rest as much as possible."
Greta participated in the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games and attributes much of her progress to the Games.
"The Youth Olympic Games was a once-in-a-lifetime experience so it definitely helped me. The positive and negative experiences I had changed my mindset going into Sochi and for my racing career in general. If I had not had some of those negative experiences I would not be having the awesome results I am having now."
Small has already started her Sochi Olympic campaign, finishing in the top 15 in the super combined. She became only the third Australian to do so ever.
Here's wishing Greta more luck on the slopes!
By Young Reporter Sonali Prasad