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Features Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 04:10 GMT
Green's golden run
Green was disappointed with his downhill run
Green was disappointed with his downhill run
BBC Sport Online's Anna Thompson carves up a conversation with British combined skier Ross Green

Not bad for a butcher's boy!

Britain's best Olympic skiing result in a decade came courtesy of Ross Green, who is a butcher's assistant in the summer months.

He finished 15th in the men's combined, a downhill and two slalom runs, and surprised himself - and his parents.

Green told BBC Sport Online: "My parents were keeping an eye on my progress at home in Scotland on the internet and thought there was an error in the results when it said I had finished 15th!

"They had to wait to watch the highlights on television before they believed the results were true.

I don't think I was the luckiest guy out there in those conditions

Ross Green
Norway's consummate combined skier Andre Kjetil Aamodt won the gold, with America's Bode Miller in second and Benjamin Raich of Austria in third.

Green, a 24-year-old from Falkirk, had never even taken part in a World Cup race before - let alone the Olympics.

After training runs he was ranked 35th in the downhill and 32nd in the slalom.

He was disappointed with his downhill - where he was 1.5 seconds off his training times.

Green said: "It was really windy and a little bit unfair. I don't think I was the luckiest guy out there in those conditions and wasn't very happy after the downhill."

Green has been concentrating on the speed events and has hardly skied a slalom in the last couple of years.

His only other slalom this season was in the British Championships.

I feel that my form is coming together at exactly the right time

Ross Green
He said: "While other combined skiers have been preparing for the Olympics for four years. I've had about five days worth of training.

"But my first slalom run felt great and suddenly I was having fun.

"I have never performed on this big a stage.

"You can't hear the crowd when you race downhill, but the roar as I approached the end of the slalom was amazing.

"I've got absolutely no idea why I performed so well in the slalom. I'm baffled but equally delighted with today's result - not bad for a butcher's boy.

"I feel that my form is coming together at exactly the right time."

Green is now set to compete in the giant slalom on 21 February - but joked his coach could enter him for the slalom after this performance.

He added: "I gave up slalom a couple of years ago and I don't think I will want to go back to concentrating on that, even after this result."

BBC Sport Online's Anna Thompson

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