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Olympics-Alpine skiing-No dream end for Ryding but Briton eyes ‘one more year’ – Metro US

Olympics-Alpine skiing-No dream end for Ryding but Briton eyes ‘one more year’

Alpine Skiing – Men’s Slalom Run 2
Alpine Skiing – Men’s Slalom Run 2

YANQING, China (Reuters) – There was no fairytale ending to Dave Ryding’s journey from the artificial dry slopes of Northern England to the ‘Ice River’ course at the Beijing Olympics but the 35-year-old British slalom skier says he is not done yet.

Ryding, who won the pre-Olympics World Cup slalom race at Kitzbuehel in January, finished 13th on Wednesday, 1.48 seconds behind winner Clement Noel of France.

It was the Lancastrian’s fourth appearance at a Winter Olympics and – he says – almost certainly his last, but he is keen to have at least one more season on the World Cup circuit.

“I am always realistic and while I would love to say I’ll be back, I probably won’t be. But I’ll for sure take it year by year from now,” he said.

“I’m 35, it’s got to be year by year and if I’m still going well each year, then I’ll carry on. But it will be year by year. So next year, I’ll take it as my last and then I’ll reevaluate.”

Ryding’s thoughts are already turning to how he can help the next generation of British skiers, including 25-year-old Billy Major, who skied out in the first run here.

“I have to just try to lead by example. If they want help, I offer everything I’ve got,” he said.

“I just go day by day and try to be as professional as I can and give everything I can every single day – that’s what it takes and hopefully they can see that.

“I’ll keep pushing as long as I can with them and then it will be over to them.”

Ryding was clearly disappointed to be “on the wrong side of tight margins” in Wednesday’s race but he was still able to take a broad perspective on his career, which began on the snowless slopes of Pendle Hill. [L8N2UM0LF]

“I only ever dreamt of going to one Olympics and being ranked around the top 30 if I could, so I’ve smashed all my expectations out of the park,” he said.

“Even though I won Kitzbuehel I was still asking myself, what do I aim for now? That’s how I am. I always try to improve. I’ll try again next year to even be better than I have been this year.

“It will be difficult but I will give it everything I’ve got,” he added.

Before then, Ryding has the small matter of a spring wedding to his fiance Mandy to take care of – an event which he admits he has not “lifted a finger” for.

That, he says, is the price of being on the road travelling from race to race, a lifestyle which is coming towards its conclusion.

“I have to think about others more than myself sometimes in the future,” he said.

“We’ll see though – year by year.”

(Reporting by Simon Evans, Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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