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Friday, 11 January, 2002, 11:07 GMT
Dr Ice knows best
No-one at Salt Lake City will know more about their event than Kristan Bromley.
Britain's leading man in the bob skeleton actually has a PhD in his chosen sport.
The 29-year-old design engineer goes into the Olympics with genuine hopes of a medal.
He has finished in the top 10 at the last four World Championships and was ranked 9th in the world last year.
But Bromley only got involved in the sport as part of a research project he was carrying out for British Aerospace.
He gained his doctorate for designing equipment used by the British team and also won a Millennium Product Award for his work.
The Lancastrian, who is now known as 'Dr Ice', still finds it strange to see how far his intial interest has taken him.
"The sport chose me," he said.
"I started on a technical programme with BAe and realised to push that research forward I had to get involved personally.
"I've always been a sportsman to a certain level and have always been willing to do the extreme sports.
"I took the sport up to obtain research results, found I had a knack for it and six years later I'm preparing for the Olympics."
Bromley has been overshadowed to a certain extent by the performances of British team-mate Alex Coomber who is among the favourites for gold in the women's event.
But he is sufficiently confident in his own ability to believe he could make a mark on the nation's consciousness.
"Alex and myself are very focused on what we need to do," he said.
"We are going there to win what we can. We have got that goal and that is our focus."
The sport demands a lot of those taking part and even Bromley's background and understanding of the sport does not allow for any short-cuts.
"Physically and mentally it's extremely tough," he said.
"People think that all you do is run, jump on a sled and go down a track. It looks easy but there's a lot more involved than that.
"It's extremely demanding on your mind to focus on that length of time without making a mistake."
There is also the danger element of sliding head first downhill at such high speeds, which Bromley admits acts as an extra spur.
"You do get scared. That's what keeps me awake. If you don't respect the tracks then they'll bite you. It is dangerous and it can hurt you," he said.
But Bromley knows the potential rewards on offer in Salt Lake City far outweigh the risks.
A medal of any colour would be just what the doctor ordered.
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19 Oct 01 | Other Sports
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19 Feb 01 | Other Sports
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11 Jan 02 | Luge & Skeleton
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