A whim to try out a new, intriguing sport has resulted in an Olympic call-up for New Zealand skeleton racer Rhys Thornbury.
The 28-year-old has been named to compete at the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February on the back of consistent international results, including an 11th placing at last year's world championships.
Thornbury, a weapons technician with the British Royal Air Force, remembers when he first tried out the high-speed downhill discipline in Austria six years ago.
"What drew me to the sport was not knowing anything about it. I'd played rugby and softball as a kid in New Zealand and this was so different to anything I'd ever tried and I thought it looked so cool," he said.
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"I love the feeling when you're on the start line before the race and all that adrenaline is going and you know you only have one chance to get it right."
Thornbury says the PyeongChang Olympic course will suit his preference for technical racing. While athletes get up to speeds of 145km/h at some international venues, it will be more like 120km/h next month.
He has capitalised on the RAF's elite athlete scheme which allows serving personnel to focus on sport at an elite level.
It has allowed Thornbury to train and compete full time for the last three years, having made his World Cup circuit debut in 2015.
"It's the reason why I'm here doing what I'm doing so I'm very grateful for that. It allows me to be the best I can be."
Thornbury will contest the final World Cup race of the season in Germany this weekend before completing his Olympic buildup with a training stint in Canada.