SOUTH Shields Olympian Amanda Lightfoot has been training for six years to realise her sporting dream.
She will become only the second-ever British female biathlete to compete at a Winter Olympics when she goes into action in Sochi tomorrow.
When she is at home, the 27-year-old uses a variety of different training methods in order to maintain and improve her performance, including dry land roller-skating.
She admits her Olympic ambition hasn’t been burning for long - but she’s still ready to seize her chance in Sochi.
“I didn’t join the military to be a biathlete, it just sort of happened,” said Lightfoot.
“I was out in Iraq and when I came back they were looking for people to go skiing and it seemed a good idea, but I’d never been on snow or even seen the sport before.
“I quickly took to it, and I was top novice at my first British Championships, and that’s when I was selected for the development squad.
“I suppose it’s my personality but the more I did it, the more I wanted it.
“I never dreamed that I’d be an Olympian. I remember watching the summer Olympics on television, but I never really had a goal to be an athlete. But once I started in biathlon, it quickly became a bit of an obsession.
“I was watching the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and that’s when I decided I really wanted to go to Sochi and I’d do everything I could to make this team.”
* 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.