Hitting the slopes: Bermuda’s Tucker Murphy. *File photo
Hitting the slopes: Bermuda’s Tucker Murphy. *File photo

Cross-country skier Tucker Murphy is expected to be Bermuda’s sole representative once again at the Winter Olympics, which takes place in Sochi, Russia in February.

The island has sent a competitor to every Olympics since 1992, with Simon Payne and Patrick Singleton pre-dating Murphy, who took part for the first time four years ago in Vancouver.

The Bermuda Olympic Association’s Chuck Milligan, who is chairman of the technical committee, says Murphy is in ‘great shape’ to achieve the B standard qualifying points mark before the January deadline. 

The Winter Games opening ceremony takes place on February 7.

Milligan told the Sun: “There’s probably about four or five fellows training right now but realistically we will have one cross country skier — and that’s Tucker Murphy.

“We have a couple of young guys — the Leseur brothers [Christopher and Matthew] who do freestyle skiiing — but they are probably four years away from getting the points to get there.”

Chase Toogood was another contender but the slalom skier has been hit by injury, leaving Tucker, currently training in Vermont, as Bermuda’s main hope.

“One top-five finish and he’ll be in — but he’ll probably do four or five event.

“He made the B standard in 2010 and has been doing triathlons since and been very successful. 

“He’s in great shape. We expect him to make the B standard again — it’s definitely within his grasp.

“Tucker is going to have to focus, though — it’s a brutal sport.”

Milligan added that, for a country Bermuda’s size, having someone fly the flag is of huge significance.

He said: “It’s a big deal for Bermuda. 

“For anybody to do it seriously they really have to be training and travelling overseas the whole time — they can’t do half a year here and half a year there.

“If you are an athlete from a small country like us, it’s really important to go and compete with the other competitors. That’s what really helps and that’s what Tucker is doing.”

A total of 48 nations have already qualified for the Games with over 2,500 athletes expected to take part.