Ryding drawing on past experiences

Dave Ryding
Dave Ryding
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Ski star Dave Ryding believes his past experiences of the Winter Olympics will stand him in good stead later this week.

The 31-year-old takes part in the third Games of his career when he goes in the slalom, on Thursday, in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Unlike previous attempts at Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014, Ryding will be viewed as a genuine medal contender when he lines up at the start of the piste in the Far East.

A bona fide member of the top-10 in the world now, Ryding enjoyed a break-out season at World Cup level in 2016/17 and has backed that up this campaign.

While his results over the past two years have shown a marked improvement, Ryding revealed that his performance four years at the last Olympics in Sochi made him believe that he belonged at elite level.

Although he eventually finished 17th overall, the former Pendle Ski Club ace looked like he was on course for a top 10 finish before a mistake on the second run proved costly.

“My first Games in Vancouver I was a little bit out of my depth,” said Ryding.

“Obviously, there was a lot of learning for me. I think four years ago, I wasn’t a million miles away from finishing in the top 10. It certainly made me aware that I was doing the right thing and it motivated me to keep working hard. With the last two years under my belt, hopefully I can use it to my advantage in Pyeongchang.”

Having never skied in South Korea before Ryding is unsure of what the conditions will be like, but is eager to make sure he does everything he can to secure a medal.

“I haven’t been there before, although I have skied in Japan,” said Ryding.

“It will be slightly different to what I’m used to in Europe and we will just get one look at the course before we race.

“I’m just looking to leave everything out there and see what happens.”

l The slalom competition gets underway in the early hours of Thursday morning. (UK time)