Mick Brennan might have just been selected for his first ever Winter Paralympic Games, but the Bircotes skier insists the weeks before he lands in Sochi will be the most crucial of his career.
Having lost both his legs in a suicide bomb attack while a sergeant with the Royal Signal Bomb Squad, Brennan is no stranger to adversity.
His place in Great Britain’s squad was thrown into doubt last year as he struggled with injury.
In February he broke his sternum, just days after finishing ninth in the sitting super combined event at the World Championships, only to fracture his wrist in a World Cup event seven months later.
Despite this the 34-year-old has still been given the nod by Paralympics GB to be one of their seven-strong skiing team.
But it is the preparations races and holding camp before the Games get underway in March that Brennan believes will be the biggest test so far of his ten-year career, let alone the Paralympics themselves.
“We fly out to Tignes in France where we are competing, we get four days off and then we go to Austria for another competition and a two-week holiday camp,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to that more than any of the other stuff because I’ve not been skiing and I’m looking forward to getting mileage in the gates and getting my timing back.
“My timing is out, I’m either going too early to turn or turning too late and it’s costing me valuable time. I’m really putting a lot of pressure on myself because I’ve not been doing a lot of training.
“Those two weeks are the biggest two weeks of my skiing career, the Games come secondary really.
“What happens there happens because I’m going to be going 150 per cent. I’m either going to crash out or I’m going to do well.”
Despite admitting that he is behind schedule, the former North Border Comprehensive insists he is not heading to Sochi just to make up the numbers.
“I’m not in the sport to finish every single race and get a pat on the back to say well done, I’m here to win,” he added.
“I’d rather finish one race a year and get on that podium just once in that season and all the rest of the time just crash out.
“I’m going to be giving it my best shot. It’s very frustrating because I was breaking into the top 15 in the world on a regular basis before I broke my sternum.”