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Serita Shone's time to shine
SERITA Shone believes the time is right to consign the accident that doctors feared could have left her paralysed to the past.
The Weymouth bobsleigher is set to return to competition in March, 16 months after fracturing her spine in crash during training.
Shone, 23, has revealed that she did question her future in the sport during her rehabilitation but is now determined to stay in bobsleigh for as long as possible.
The former heptathlete confirmed this week that the British Championships in Austria on March 9 will be the setting for her comeback and it is still her aim to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Speaking to Echosport about that 70mph crash in October 2011 and her outlook on life, she said: “It’s one of those things I never want to go through again.
“There have been ups and downs like any journey and definitely times when I just wanted to be done with it.
“But that would have been the easy option and I wanted to try and push myself past that and keep going.
“Sometimes you say you’ve had enough of something then 20 minutes later you’ve got your senses back.
“There were always difficult times when things wouldn’t go to plan but I’ve been faced with things like that all my life.
“As soon as I was told my condition wasn’t critical I saw no reason why I couldn’t get back, providing nothing else happened along the way.
“You always know how you are feeling yourself even though other people tell you how you should be or what other people in the same situation have felt like.
“I was always determined to get back.
“I’m looking forward to next month and it’s time to put the past behind me and focus on the future.
“It’s new territory for me and I’m a little bit apprehensive but more looking forward to it.
“I feel really good and ready to go and I definitely want to get back on the track.
“I’ve put in some groundwork and will see what I can do and next season I want to race full time and get back to who I am.”
Shone knows that danger in bobsleigh is just around the corner and an occupational hazard for anyone competing in extreme winter sports.
One thing that helped get her through the tough times was the support provided by family and friends and luckily she has not suffered any long-lasting effects from the incident in Germany which befell her and bobsleigh driver Fiona Harrison.
“My parents, friends and extended family have all been brilliant,” she added.
“Without them I don’t think I could have been this positive which has allowed me to continue doing the sport.
“Everyone has been really supportive especially other athletes from around the world who do extreme sports and understand the risks.
“And people who don’t even know me or don’t watch the sport have also been really kind.
“You know there are risks but until something happens to you it’s not something you think about.”
Shone concedes that Sochi may come a little too soon but the 2018 Games has always been her target.
“Sochi is still my aim but you never know what is going to happen,” she said. “I’m not naive or stupid and I know it’s not going to be easy but if it does happen that’s great.
“My long term aim is the 2018 Winter Olympics which has always been the goal, Sochi would be a bonus.
“I want to stay in the sport as long as I can and hopefully I can medal along the way.
“I’m not really worrying about the British Championships, I’m just thinking about how I feel back in competition.”