Rose: I want medals at Vancouver 2010 Games

SEAN Rose has set his sights on medals in the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games after winning Great Britain s first-ever World Cup skiing gold medal in Italy. Finishing almost a second in front of Japan s Akira Kano in the first downhill race in Sestriere l

SEAN Rose has set his sights on medals in the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games after winning Great Britain's first-ever World Cup skiing gold medal in Italy.

Finishing almost a second in front of Japan's Akira Kano in the first downhill race in Sestriere last week, St Neots seated skier Rose achieved the team's best-ever result, and sealed himself a spot in the team for the Paralympics in March.

Now he wants to build on a start to the season that has seen him collect four medals in six races by bringing home medals from the Vancouver 2010 games.

"My expectations have changed completely," said Rose. "Last year I was happy knocking on the door of the top 10 in the world.

"But after the results I've had this season, all that has changed.

"We are a team to be reckoned with now, and I am going to Vancouver intending to win medals.

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"I'm not going there just to enjoy it and make up the numbers - there is no reason why I can't bring home medals."

Rose underwent a gruelling summer training schedule in New Zealand, meaning he started the season in peak form, and has also benefited from new equipment.

He said: "I didn't know what to expect going into this season, because it's the hardest I have ever trained. I tried everything I could to get one or two per cent extra out of everything. That has added up and it's paid off.

"With the confidence I have gained this season, I know I have a job to do: I am going over there to bring back medals."

Rose leaves the UK on February 10 for a training camp, and competes in the first of his five events on March 13.

However, Rose's hopes could be hindered by funding troubles in the sport, which have seen many top athletes funding their careers from their own pockets. Rose had the benefit of a dedicated ski technician in Sestriere - which he believes made the significant difference in his win - but does not have the funds for that support at every race.

He added: "I suppose it's because skiing is not a national sport in the UK, but I can't believe we are a national team winning medals, and yet we don't have a sponsor.

"The future of the sport might be at risk because I can't see many young skiers coming through wanting to fund their entire careers themselves.

"I will be there because it's what I've been working towards for so long, but we can't always rely on physios and other staff volunteering their services for free.

"It shouldn't be like that if you are representing your country.

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