South Shields snow queen gunning for place in biathlon at Winter Olympics 2018
South Tyneside snow queen Amanda Lightfoot is waiting to see if her Olympic dream will become a reality later this month.
The Biathlete is just weeks away from finding out whether she has qualified to take part in this year’s Winter Olympics.
Biathlon is a winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.
The 29-year-old winter sports star from South Shields, has high hopes to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in Pyeongchang County, South Korea, next month.
The Games – which will run from Friday, February 9 to Sunday, February 25 – will feature sports including the full range of ski events, bobsleigh, skating, snowboarding and ski jumping.
Although Amanda is said to be already on track to take part, an official announcement will be made by the British Olympic Association on Monday, January 22, to confirm whether she had made the team.
If successful, it will be the second Winter Olympics that Amanda has competed in, having previously competed in two races in the 2014 Winter Olympics which were held in Sochi, Russia.
Amanda was only the second ever female British biathlete to compete at an Olympic Winter Games and during the games, where she finished 75th in a 7.5km sprint with a time of 24minutes and 48.9 seconds.
That was followed by a 71st-place during the 15km women’s individual event.
The sports champion has already got her year off to a great start on the European biathlon circuit, posting photos of herself training in Oberhof in Germany – ahead of the World Cup held there this weekend.
She said: “I’m still in the qualification process, and racing this week in Germany on Thursday this week. “Then I have a few more races this month and the selection and qualification process will be over at the end of January, then I will know if I have made it.”
Last year was also an impressive one for Amanda, who recorded her best ever result in a world championships – coming 32nd place in the International Biathlon Union’s World Championship 15k individual race which was held in Hochfilzen, Austria.
She joined the army’s Adjutant General Corps as a clerk at the age of 16 and decided to give the sport a try while she was serving in Iraq. Since then Amanda has been on full-time release from the army so that she is able to pursue her Biathlon sporting dream.
Amanda and the British Biathlon Union are on the lookout for sponsors. Anyone wishing to sponsor them can visit: http://britishbiathlon.com