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Page last updated at 16:19 GMT, Monday, 8 March 2010

Kelly Thomas says death cast shadow over Olympics

Britain's bobsleighers finished 11th in Vancouver

Kent's Winter Olympics bobsleigher Kelly Thomas says the death of a luge competitor cast a shadow over the event.

Nodar Kumaritashvili of the Georgian team died following a crash on the day of the opening ceremony.

Thomas, 29, from Dartford told BBC Radio Kent: "His death shocked the tight-knit Olympic village.

"He was a young athlete who wanted to fulfil his dream of competing at the Olympics. Everyone was so shocked."

Thomas, who finished 11th, insisted the event is a lot safer compared to a few years ago.

She said: "It 's a dangerous event, though it's not as dangerous as it used to because so many safety measures have been introduced."

She admitted that it was only when she boarded the flight for Vancouver that it sunk in that she was going to the Olympics.

"Since I was a seven-year-old I had always wanted to go to the Olympics," she said.

"I remember watching Linford Christie compete and I promised myself that one day I would go to the Olympics.

"It lived up to all expectations, that's why I want to compete again. It really whetted my appetite."

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see also
Olympic sliding track to be tamed
22 Feb 10 |  Bobsleigh
Brit bobsleighers win World gold
22 Feb 09 |  Winter Sports

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