Laura Deas: Olympic medallist confirms Beijing 2022 aim

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'That fire of ambition is burning again' - Olympic medallist Deas

Olympic skeleton bronze medallist Laura Deas says "the fire has started burning again" as she confirmed her desire to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Deas, 31, became the first Welsh woman to win a Winter Olympic medal when she finished third in Pyeongchang in 2018.

Afterwards she said she deliberately left her future in the sport 'open-ended' but has now confirmed she will target the Beijing Games.

The 2019-20 Skeleton World Cup season gets under way in Lake Placid, USA on Saturday.

"I didn't know how I was going to feel after the Olympics," admitted Deas. "Whether I was going to think 'that's me done'.

"But actually as soon as Beijing started being talked about and I saw a map of the track and you start hearing things about the venues being built - that fire started burning again in terms of the ambition."

Illness and injury

Deas had a frustrating season last time around - suffering with concussion and flu, before having to withdraw from the World Championships due to whiplash.

But she did pick up her first World Cup medal in three years with a bronze in Calgary.

Laura Deas
Deas was third behind teammate Lizzy Yarnold and Germany's Jacqueline Loelling at Pyeongchang in 2018.

"I approached the season in terms of wanting to enjoy the sport just for itself," Deas told BBC Sport Wales.

"It was partially successful but I think what it taught me was that actually I need that long term goal and that's not a bad thing to have because it drives you forwards.

"Actually when you break it down into how many races there are before the Olympics, you're looking at less than 30 now.

"There's a lot of work to do in that time but I know it'll go really fast."

'The best version of Laura'

After winning that Olympic medal and then getting married in 2018, Deas says she has made the most of a quieter off season this year.

That has meant a lot of gym work and conditioning at British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association's base at the University of Bath.

As a result the BBSA's new permanent Performance Director for Skeleton, Natalie Dunman, is tipping the Welsh slider for more success this season.

"I think we're seeing the very best version of Laura, which is hugely exciting," Dunman said. "Physically she's in really great shape and mentally she has more experience than ever.

"We're really thinking she can have a great season and she will be chasing a medal at the World Championships [in February]."

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