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Team GB ready for Paralympics

2010 Winter Paralympics
Venues: Vancouver and Whistler Date: 12-21 March
Coverage: Daily reports and video round-ups on the BBC Sport website. Games highlights on BBC Two 1300-1400 GMT on 22 March

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Sean Rose's Paralympic skiing guide

Almost two weeks after Great Britain's Olympic team returned from Vancouver, with Amy Williams the sole medallist, their Paralympic counterparts will bid to at least double that medal haul.

A 12-strong Great Britain team will take part in wheelchair curling and alpine skiing at the 10th Winter Paralympics, which start on Friday.

Four years ago in Turin, GB's mixed wheelchair curling team won a silver medal and this year they aim to go one better.

Sean Rose represents Britain's best chance of a skiing medal after enjoying a successful season so far.

The 38-year-old, who was born in Middlesbrough but now lives in Cambridgeshire, competes in the sit-ski category after breaking his back in a skiing accident in 2000

He finished sixth in the downhill event four years ago but has gone from strength to strength and earlier this year won Britain's first ever World Cup gold at a downhill race in Sestriere.

The skiing programme features five events - downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom and super combined and Rose will take part in all five but the downhill is his best event.

"I've dedicated a lot of time this season to getting things ready for the Games," he told BBC Sport.

"I think I have improved my technique massively over the last four years. Turin was a great feeling and it spurred me on knowing I would be in a better position next time.

"The Paralympics are special and everything can happen on the day but winning a medal would be the icing on the cake.

Michael McCreadie's video profile

"I just have to run my race and then everybody else can worry about competing, because I know if I run my race the way I'm capable of, there's no reason why I shouldn't be taking gold," he said.

Joining Rose on the team are two-time Paralympian Russell Docker and debutants Tim Farr, Talan Skeels-Piggins, Jane Sowerby, Anna Turney and Kelly Gallagher.

Docker, who competed at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, as well as Turin four years ago, suffered suffered bruises after a heavy fall in one of his last training sessions on Wednesday but is expected to be fit to race in Saturday's downhill.

Sowerby has also recovered from a broken collarbone to take part in both the giant slalom and slalom while Turney, a former snowboarder, and Gallagher, who competes with guide Claire Robb, both have outside chances of a medal in the same disciplines.

The wheelchair curling team features three members of the team who missed out on gold with the final stone of the game in Turin fours year ago - Michael McCreadie, who is now the skip, Angie Malone, who has battled against cancer over the last year, and Tom Killin.

They are joined by Aileen Neilson and Jim Sellar, who have both competed at World Championships in the past.

McCreadie is preparing for his seventh Paralympics - after competing in four and coaching in two - and the Scot, who will celebrate his 64th birthday on 16 March, has seen a great change in the way Paralympic athletes prepare.

"No stone is left unturned in terms of our preparations. Back in 1972, when I made my Paralympic debut in Heidelberg, we had to return our kit after the competition.

Aileen Neilson's video profile

"Now we benefit from strength and conditioning coaching, nutrition and psychologists and it has made a huge difference to the the profile of Paralympic sport as a whole."

Great Britain begin their round-robin series on Saturday against the hosts and defending champions Canada and making a good start would be a huge boost to their podium hopes.

They then face former world champions Norway later on Saturday before taking on Switzerland (Sunday), Korea and USA (Monday), Germany (Tuesday), Sweden (Wednesday) and Italy and Japan (Thursday) before Saturday's semi-finals and final.

McCreadie added: "To win Paralympic silver last time was a great result. This time we are aiming firstly for a podium place and hopefully we can move one step up.

"I think there is less pressure on us than four years ago because we have made some personnel changes and also some technical changes and that is a good feeling.

"We have two new players and the fact that we all play together out of the Braehead club is a real advantage.

"We know that the standards in the sport have risen in the last four years but if we play to our best in every game we will be there or thereabouts.

"This season, there have been eight international tournaments so far with eight different winners so we believe the gold is up for grabs."

British skier Sean Rose is targetting a medal at the Winter Paralympics.

ParalympicsGB chief executive Phil Lane believes that success in Canada will help inspire more people to take up winter Paralympic sports

"We want our athletes to go out and deliver their best and perform as they can, not to leave their best performances on the training slopes or on the ice rink," he insisted.

"The amount of support the guys have had over the last four years has been exceptional and we are very excited about what is a fantastic team and we have some real possibilities."



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see also
GB Paralympic skier wins silver
04 Mar 10 |  Disability Sport
Gallagher added to Vancouver team
03 Feb 10 |  Disability Sport
GB name Paralympic curling squad
13 Jan 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Rose secures famous World Cup win
21 Jan 10 |  Alpine skiing
Rose impresses with slalom bronze
21 Dec 09 |  Vancouver 2010
Rose ends World Cup on high note
16 Mar 09 |  Disability Sport
Rose display is fitting farewell
19 Mar 06 |  Disability Sport
GB curlers win Paralympic silver
18 Mar 06 |  Disability Sport
Rose blooms on Paralympics debut
12 Mar 06 |  Disability Sport
A-Z of Paralympic classification
28 Aug 08 |  Disability Sport
Disability Sport on the BBC
02 Nov 09 |  Disability Sport


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