Olympic Ambition: The Soldier Determined To Do Britain & Army Proud

The countdown to the Winter Olympics is now well underway for a British Army soldier who's Team GB's only remaining female biathlete...

The countdown to the Winter Olympics is now well underway for a British Army soldier who's Team GB's only remaining female biathlete.

Sergeant Amada Lightfoot will be in action in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in just 100 days, with the Olympic flame now passed over to the country following a handover ceremony in Greece.

Having spent the last decade competing in biathlon, balancing her training with her role in the Adjutant General's Corps, she told Forces Network's Cath Brazier she's been spurred on by a competitive streak:

"I didn't expect to be where I am today... I started [competing in] this sport as a bit of fun."

"Then I started to get this love for it inside, and I just turned really competitive! Then I wanted to be the best in Great Britain... This year I want to be in the [world] top 30." 

The tournament will be the 23rd Winter Olympics and Amanda's second, running from February 9-25 next year. 

Having joined the Army to prove a point to her brother, Amanda got involved with the endurance sport after an adventure training trip when she was 20. She'd never skied or seen 'proper' snow before.

She thinks the last 10 years have seen an 80/20 split between time in training and time in uniform, but the Army, and the AGC in particular, have been a huge support.

Despite biathlon being a winter sport, the commitment is year round. When Amanda's not on the snow, she has a variety of ways to keep in shape over the summer months.

Speaking after completing a career course at Worthy Down, she said:

"I'm doing 30 hours a week [of] physical training... I don't get weekends off, I don't get half-days. I get one day off a week, which is generally spent eating - a lot - sleeping, doing my washing, just day-to-day stuff."

The 30-year-old says it helps that she's being trained by one of the best coaches in the world, Wolfgang Pichler, who also works with the Swedish 'A' team.

She said: "He's been the driving force to my motivation.

"He sees the training that I'm doing, how long I sleep, when I'm resting, if I've done the exact kilometres he wants, the exact time he wants, the exact loop he wants. And if I haven't, he's on my back."

Training with Wolfgang and the Swedish team, Amanda has seen a marked improvement over the last four years.

She says she has a third Olympics in her and that she wants to compete :

"I believe that I can achieve what I want to achieve. It would be great to go down in history as the only female to have gone to three Olympics for Great Britain... I think that would be a fantastic achievement."

Amanda has now been able to enjoy some relative downtime on camp - not that there's anything easy about passing a senior non-commissioned officer (NCO) course.

But she still loves her time in the Army and is happy in the knowledge she can go for glory in her chosen sport, knowing that her career will be there for her when she gets back.

More: Gurkha Aims To Become Youngest Person To Walk To South Pole Unassisted

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