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Sowerby refuses to slope off after setback
Otley-born Jane Sowerby didn’t live up to her potential on her Winter Paralympic debut but has immediately set her sights on Sochi 2014.
The 35-year-old – who was paralysed from the waist down following a freak fall in 2003 – fought against the odds to even be on the slopes in Whistler after she broke her collarbone in November.
Struggling for confidence because of her disrupted preparations, Sowerby failed to finish the slalom before being harshly disqualified from the giant slalom due to a rolling start.
Sowerby insists she has not been deterred from her Olympic dream and, after a short break, has vowed to bounce back better than ever at next year’s World Championships.
“It was an amazing experience and something that I will never forget,” said Sowerby.
“I am so glad I got to cross the finishing line because it was just fantastic. The Games were amazing, just seeing everyone around the athletes’ village in their kit and the opening ceremony was great.
“Even though the skiing didn’t go as I would have liked there is no way it has put me off. If anything it has made me even more determined and stubborn looking ahead to the World Championships in Sestriere next year and then Sochi in 2014.
“I struggled in Vancouver with the injury because while it was all healed I hadn’t done enough preparation to get my confidence back so I was quite tentative.
“But I will have a bit of a rest now and then get straight back into working hard and potentially getting out to somewhere in Europe this summer to get some practice in.”
Sowerby’s Paralympic potential was spotted back in 2007 – when she was hand-picked to join the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes initiative, earning herself a £1,000 cash injection towards her training and competition costs.
And while admitting she was disappointed with her Canadian exploits, Sowerby is adamant she made the right decision to rush back for the games.
She said: “If it had been any other event other than the Paralympics I would have had a much longer rest than I did.
“But I just didn’t want to miss out on going to a Games and I am so glad that, even though the races didn’t go as I wanted, I was there to experience it all.”
* Lloyds TSB, proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and supporter of ParalympicsGB on their journey to Vancouver 2010. Visit LloydsTSB.com/London2012