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2014 Olympic profile: Sarah Reid

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According to Matt Walks of Digital First Media on Tuesday, Sarah Reid of Calgary is making just as much headlines for her creative skeleton helmet as her outstanding driving in skeleton on the World Cup circuit.

That is what happens when you have an image "of a girl's face that was half normal, half skull" and was found by Reid when she looked up "day of the dead" on the Internet.

Believe it or not but Reid at one time was a ballerina, and is now competing in one of the most challenging events at the Olympic Winter Games. The sport is skeleton and these athletes go down the track historically used by bobsledders and lugers head first.

So far this World Cup season, Reid has won two bronze medals-- the first in Park City, Utah on December 6, and the second at Winterberg, Germany on January 4. Reid is also the reigning bronze medalist from the World Championship in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Here is my interview with Canada's top female skeleton athlete, Sarah Reid.

Heading into the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, what are your expectations?

"It will be my first Olympics, so I think in some ways, I don't know really what to expect. Results wise, I'm definitely hoping to podium and bring home a medal for Canada in my first Games."

How much has Mellisa Hollingsworth, the bronze medalist at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, and your Olympic teammate helped you?

"We have an amazing team. Everyone on the team works really well, and even though it is an individual sport, we attack it as a team as much as we can. Mel, Jon, Eric, everyone that has been on the World Cup team the last few years has been huge."

You didn't compete at the Sochi World Cup last year. Can I ask why?

"I actually got a concussion in training."

How is your head now?

"It's awesome. It was really nice to get the monkey off the back this past November and have two weeks of solid training."

Do you feel you might be at a bit of a disadvantage for missing the Sochi World Cup?

"No, not at all. They've given us lots of training time and we'll have lots of training time before the Games. So, like I said, we'll be working really hard as a team to make sure we're attacking it head on an do our best."

I understand you grew up as a ballerina and made the switch to skeleton. Do you mind if I ask why you made that switch?

"To be honest, I don't really know. I was looking for something a little bit new and I wanted to try bobsleigh actually. At that time I was 15, so I was too young to bobsleigh, so they asked me if I wanted to try skeleton and I've been in it ever since."

What would you consider as your strengths and weaknesses on the track?

"Definitely over the past few years, the strength I've developed has been my push. I've worked very, very hard on my push and tried to get those numbers as low as possible. So I'd say that's a strength for me. I still think one of my weaknesses is my consistency. I'm still not as consistent as I'd like to be, from run to run, so I'd definitely like to work on that."

Valentine's Day could be a huge day for Reid as it will be this day that the third and fourth runs of the Olympic women's skeleton competition will take place.

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