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Friday, 1 February, 2002, 16:38 GMT

Preparing for the real pipe

In her third Winter Olympics column for BBC Sport Online, British Olympic snowboarder Lesley McKenna explains why preparations have been difficult this week

There's been some bad weather over the last few days, so riding has been a little limited here in Colorado, where I'm based until I go back to Salt Lake City.

It's been snowing a lot and really misty, which means bad visibility.

It's definitely not good when you can't see where the pipe is.

At the moment, I'm just working on really basic things and trying to get my confidence back after hurting my shoulder.

"Trying out the half-pipe that you're going to compete in is really important because every pipe is different"
Lesley McKenna

I'm not really doing any big tricks yet. I'm just working on my standard airs, my riding and just making sure my balance is really good.

This will enable me to have a really good platform to work from when I do get to the Olympic venue, Park City.

Like I said before, my shoulder injury is getting better, but it's still not 100%, so I'm going to take it easy until the official training starts on 5 February.

That's when we get to ride on the actual half-pipe at the Olympics.

Trying out the half-pipe that you're going to compete in is really important because every pipe is different.

In fact, I won't work out my routine until I've ridden at Park City.

How the official half-pipe is will really affect where I put my tricks and what I actually do, so I will decide on my routine then.

Actually, I'm looking forward to taking a few days off before going to Park City.

I'm been getting quite tired, especially because of the altitude up here - it's really high.

We're at about 10,000 ft, so it takes it out of you walking up the pipe each time you finish your run.

Park City is actually a bit lower, so hopefully I'll be bounding up the half-pipe at Salt Lake.


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