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Winter Olympics 'Like No Other Competition', Says RAF Slider

The RAF's skeleton racer Rhys Thornbury says competing at the Winter Olympics was "like no other" competition he has been in before...

The RAF's skeleton racer Rhys Thornbury says competing at the Winter Olympics was "like no other" competition he has been in before.

The 28-year-old, who has since been competing at the Inter-Services Ice Sports Championships in Igls, Austria, trains on an elite athlete scheme.

It allows the serving corporal, who took part in the PyeongChang games in South Korea last month, to train and focus on sport full-time.

He made it through to the fourth and final heat round but missed out on a medal.

Cpl Thornbury, who holds dual citizenship in the UK and New Zealand but competes for the latter, told Forces Network:

"It was an amazing experience, it was great to be part of it.

"It was great to represent New Zealand and represent the Air Force as well and the services in general."

"[The] competition went great. [I] had a bit of a hiccup in the final run and didn't finish great, but... it was great to show the world what I could do."

The RAF weapons technician says the Winter Olympics were a unique experience for him:

"It was amazing - it was like no other race I've done before."

"It wasn't like any World Championships, wasn't like any World Cup."

He says the RAF has been "massively supportive" of his sporting career:

"I've been on the elite athlete scheme for about three years now, and that allows me to train full-time and be out of my normal job.

"The Air Force, paying my salary, allowing me to be an elite athlete... without the Air Force, it wouldn't be possible to have done what I have done."

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