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Wednesday, 30 January, 2002, 10:33 GMT

Getting in the groove

British bob skeleton star Alex Coomber tells BBC Sport Online she is hitting the track and fine-tuning ahead of the Winter Olympics.

After a bit of time off, now I'm in Calgary it's all about getting back on the sled and getting back into it.

I need to get my brain back into gear and focused on sliding.

It's all a matter of working out the technical things - they may be little, but they are also the vital finishing touches.

The suit is sorted, as are my spikes, and my helmet and sled are going to get a re-spray.

"It's like an exam - if you haven't revised now there's nothing you can do"
Alex Coomber

I've also got to jig the sled and straighten all the knocks it has taken over the season.

Then it's just a matter of using the training runs to practice again and again and again and again... I think you're getting the picture.

Having said that though, it's all a bit like an exam.

It's too late now if you haven't revised and there's nothing you can do about it.

There was nothing I could do about the couple of injuries I had recently apart from thank my lucky stars that they weren't worse.

I'm in the physical and mental condition I'm in and my sled is in the condition it's in and that's what I'm going to the Olympics with.

They could all be better - but they could all be worse.

But all the while I'm going to have to try to not do things too differently though - relaxing is the key.

If winning the World Cup was perfect preparation for the track, the 2000 Goodwill Games were the perfect preparation off it.

"The hype helped me on the big day - I fed off it"
Alex Coomber on Goodwill Games

They were the closest I've got to the Olympics and I thrived on it.

I loved being a part of the atmosphere, meeting other athletes and watching the action.

It all helped to take my mind off things and that is what I've got to do again.

The first real taste of the Olympics I'll be getting is when I go down with my husband Eric for a short stay in Salt Lake to take in the opening ceremony.

The worst thing you could do is go and shut yourself away and start worrying and mulling things over.

What is more is that all that hype helped me on the big day two years ago - I fed off it.

I've always found it difficult to perform in what I perceive to be low-key events and I found it quite difficult during the World Cup because there was a bigger thing on the horizon.

Now it's coming into view and there is no greater motivation.


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