CROSS-country skier Phil Bellingham has revealed he used Ballarat as part of his long-range preparation for the Sochi Winter Olympics.
The former Federation University student told The Courier he had trained regularly in Ballarat during his studies, when he lived on campus between 2010 and 2012.
“I actually did a lot of training in Ballarat. I trained out on the roads using roller skis to simulate skiing and also did a lot of cross training like running, swimming, riding and gym sessions,” Bellingham, who studied a bachelor of exercise and sport science, said.
The 22-year-old makes his official Olympic debut today when he competes in the freestyle men’s sprint.
Bellingham said he hoped to reach the finals of the event before stepping out in the classic men’s 15km and men’s team sprint later in the Games.
“I’m not really a chance for a medal but I would be stoked if I could finish around the top 30 and potentially qualify for the sprint finals,” he said.
“It’s super exciting and such a proud thing to represent Australia, although there is also a lot pressure and expectations to deal with as well.”
Men’s sprint qualification kicks off from 9.25pm local time today.