Murphy: I didn't want to do this alone
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 11:22 AM
Winter Olympian Tucker Murphy said it will be an "honor" to fly Bermuda's colors during Friday's opening ceremony in Vancouver.
"It's definitely an honour to be given this wonderful opportunity," he said. "It's really hard to describe.
The Oxford University student is the island's sole representative at the 2010 Winter Games after compatriot Patrick Singleton failed to qualify in the skeleton event.
Murphy admits Singleton's failed Olympic bid was a bitter pill to swallow.
He said: "I wanted to be here with Patrick because he is the one who set the standard. I would have loved to be joining him as part of the team - that would've been ideal for me."
The 28 year -old Murphy will compete in the men's 15k Free Individual Star cross- country ski event where he intends to put his best foot forward.
He said: "My main goal is to represent Bermuda to the best of my ability. I am fitter than I was last year when I went to the world championships so hopefully I can improve upon my results there."
Murphy's best showing to date in his chosen sport arrived at last year's Spanish National Championships where he placed 11th overall.
He qualified for a maiden Winter Games in Europe last spring and in recent months has primed himself for the biggest competition of his life training with the University of Vermont's cross -country team.
"I've had the good fortune this fall to train with Vermont's University team - that has made a big difference," added Murphy, who is currently working on his doctorate in biology in the U.K.
Murphy admits to having butterflies in his stomach but is determined to compete within himself and let the chips fall where they may.
He added: "I can't say that I'm not nervous, its definitely a very high level of competition and so obviously I'm getting geared up for it.
"Cross country skiing is one of the toughest sports I've experienced compared to running or rowing. Physically you are hurting quite a bit but you are also trying to maintain your fluid and technique at the same time. It's quite challenging."
Fears have been raised over the unseasonably warm weather Vancouver has been experiencing lately that could have an adverse effect on the Winter Games.
Murphy, though, remains unfazed.
"It's still pretty warm out here, but that should not effect the cross country skiers because there's plenty of snow out on the course," he said. "It was fairly icy this morning and so the conditions are very fast."
Murphy will make history the moment he steps out on to race course as the first Bermudian to compete in the cross -country ski event at the Winter Games, something he is well aware of.
"This is a wonderful opportunity and I could not be more delighted to have it," he said.