Michelle crosses world in search of Olympic glory
BUNDABERG'S Michelle Steele circumnavigated the globe to compete on the World Cup tour in Calgary with her hopes of securing on of two places in the Winter Olympics team after a solid performance at Lake Placid.
In one 32-hour stretch Steele travelled from Sochi to Istanbul, to Frankfurt to Chicago to Calgary with fellow skeleton athlete Lucy Chaffer to race on the track built for the 1998 games.
Racing on the World Cup tour is crucial for athletes vying for Olympic qualification, as the athletes earn the most points on this circuit.
And with the 2014 games in Sochi only 70 days away and pressure building to gain selection, Steele will draw on her performance in the last northern winter.
Steele finished the 2012/2013 FIBT Skeleton World Cup season with eighth place in the final event, held on the Olympic course in Russia and ninth in the overall standings.
After racing in Sochi Australia's skeleton program manager Dale Chapman said Steele and Chaffer might not have gained a medal but he was happy with the lessons the pair learned out of the valuable trip.
"The athletes gained a very good understanding of the track, and we as a team have learnt quite a lot about it," Chapman said.
"Unfortunately some of the execution of what we learnt was not quite up to the podium today.
"But we feel that we're certainly heading in the right direction to be in contention and pushing for those medals, come the Olympics in 12 months' time."