LAURA Deas has been battered black and blue in the name of sport.
But the 22-year-old is not about to let injury deter her from vying for a place at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Laura, of Bowling Bank, Wrexham, has even been hospitalised with a suspected dislocated shoulder while training in the bob skeleton event.
She is currently competing in Austria as one of three in the women’s British skeleton team at the Europa Cup, the first rung on the ladder to the winter Games
in the Russian town of Sochi.
She will be given an international ranking based on her performance and, if she excels, will progress through the Intercontinental Cup, World Cup, and on to the Olympics.
Mum Sue says Laura does not fear the dangers of the sport and has even sacrificed a promising future in horse-riding eventing to follow her dream.
Sue said: “Laura doesn’t do anything by halves. She’s very determined and if she says she’ll do something, she’ll do it to the best of her ability.”
Bob skeleton involves descending head-first down a track on what looks like a dinner tray with blade.
The ‘slider’ takes a sprint start before mounting the sled and hurtling downhill at speeds of up to 80mph without brakes.
When Laura first tried the event on ice in Lillehammer in 2009, she was unable to keep her head up due to the G-force pressing down on her.
She repeatedly suffered nose bleeds from banging her chin on the floor.
But this did not put her off and she went on to beat nearly 1,300 other contestants to win a place on the British squad.
Sue is aware of the dangers but trusts her daughter to stay safe.
She said: “I am very proud of Laura because she has always been a high achiever.
“She was head girl when she was at Howell’s high school and represented North Wales in hockey and distance running. She just always puts her all into whatever she does.
“I don’t worry about her getting injured because she takes the sport incredibly seriously and I know the British skeleton team are a very professional organisation.”
Laura is currently seeking sponsorship to strengthen her bid to join the British team for the 22nd Winter Olympic Games.