Skier Marty hungry for gold
GOLD is on the menu when Marty Mayberry hits the slopes in Vancouver today.
The 24-year-old from Ewingsdale is in red-hot form on the ice heading into his first event at the 2010 Paralympics.
After a heavy fog restricted competitors from getting accustomed to the mountain over the past week, Mayberry rattled off the top practice run over the weekend to lift spirits in Vancouver.
The double-amputee slashed down the Whistler Creekside course in 1min-23.68sec to affirm his position as a medal contender.
Mayberry is starting to feel at home on a mountain which he feels suits his style.
“It’s a really good hill for me,” Mayberry said.
“It is technical, steep, fast and there is some serious air down the bottom.
“A hill like this will separate the very good from the good which is what we like to see.”
Mayberry’s practise time stood him just ahead of the pack, with Switzerland’s Michael Brugger and Germany’s Markus Salcher only .30 of a second behind – not far considering the course runs 2139 metres.
Skiing in his second Paralympics, Mayberry feels he is poised to make maximum impact.
“In Torino (2006 Paralympics) it was all a massive buzz,” he said.
“There was a lot of media attention and I wasn’t used to that; I didn’t know what to expect.”
Now an elder statesman of the team with four years under his belt, Mayberry has learned to focus his energy more effectively.
“I am much more relaxed and confident this time around,” he said.
“It has been easier for me to settle in and now I am ready to concentrate on skiing which is important.”
Mayberry will have his first run down the slalom course this morning with the medal round to be held later today.