SOCHI hopeful Amanda Lightfoot will become only the second-ever British female biathlete to compete at a Winter Olympics this weekend.
The 27-year-old from South Shields attended St Wilfrid’s RC Comprehensive School, and joined the Army when she was 17.
She started skiing at 19, joined the British biathlon squad in 2007, and was named British Biathlete of the Year in 2011.
She has competed at both European and World Cup levels, and trains predominantly in Norway, due to the lack of snow in the UK.
However this is his first shot at the big time.
Here, Amanda explains the customised rifle which she will use in her bid for Olympic glory.
* Tweet your good luck messages to Amanda, whose Twitter name is @amandabiathlon1, to @shieldsgazette and we’ll pass them on to her. Use the hashtag #girlwitharifle
* Follow Amanda’s progress online here from Sunday and in The Shields Gazette from Monday.