By Anna Thompson
Winter Sports editor
Cruikshank in action in Bormio
You could say Roger Cruickshank loves life in the fast lane.
For the 23-year-old does not see much difference between a Hawk fighter jet flying at 700mph or skiing at 100mph and he is lucky because is able to experience both.
The Scotsman is a flight officer in the RAF and also one of Britain's top downhill skiers.
And his next ambition is to qualify for the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Cruickshank told the BBC Sport website: "I think I must have an addiction to speed - as in I love all things fast!
"To me it's pretty similar whether I'm in a jet flying low over towns and villages or skiing in a downhill race. It's that super fast feeling of everything whizzing by which is amazing."
Cruickshank, from Banchory near Aberdeen, had always wanted to fly and graduated as the youngest ever officer in the RAF at the age of 18.
His other passion was skiing and he joined the RAF ski team and competed in the Combined Services Championships in Meribel in France where he performed outstandingly well and his Olympic potential was spotted.
And because of a series of successful results the RAF in 2003 agreed to put on hold Cruickshank's flying training for four years so that he could concentrate on his ski career.
He said: "I'm so lucky and extremely grateful to the RAF to allow me to follow my dream and aim for the Olympics."
Cruickshank started skiing at the age of five but did not get off to a great start breaking his leg in only his second ski lesson.
He did not strap on skis again until he was nine but soon progressed into the Scottish junior and senior team's and finally the British alpine team.
Cruickshank is following hot on the heels of Britain's top downhiller Finlay Mickel and has competed in a World Cup race and the World Championships at Bormio in Italy, where he finished 41st in the super-G.
But just as he was beginning to establish himself Cruickshank was involved in a spectacular crash during an International Ski Federation race in Arber in Germany in March and suffered a serious leg injury.
"Basically my thigh went into my shin," said Cruickshank.
Cruikshank will resume his RAF career in 2007
He has had a metal plate inserted into his leg and only started walking again in June.
Cruickshank was philosophical about the injury, adding: "Maybe it was a blessing in disguise because it has made me more keen."
The downhill season gets under way with Nor-Am Cups in north America next week before the first World Cup downhill race of the season at Lake Louise, Canada, on 26 November.
Unfortunately, Cruickshank has suffered a slight setback and will spend another week on the physio's table before heading out on the snow after slipping while playing with his dog.
Cruickshank knows it is a race against time to be fit and perform well enough to be selected for the Winter Olympics, which are being held in Turin between 10 and 26 February.
"The Winter Olympics are the ultimate and the pinnacle of your career. It has always been an ambition of mine and I'm determined to get there," he added.