Differnet approach for Jenna

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JENNA McCorkell says she will be approaching things differently as she prepares for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The Olympics have not thrown up many happy memories for the Coleraine skater so far.

She missed the 2006 Games in Turin with a back injury and tears of pain turned to tears of frustration in Vancouver four years later, when a fall during her short program cost her the chance to complete her free skate, a frustration underlined just a few weeks later when she posted a personal best score at the World Championships.

However the 27-year-old is determined to learn from those from those experiences as she heads to Russia with Team GB.

“It’s going to be a very busy few months,” said McCorkell.

“I will approach the Sochi Games differently than the Winter Olympics in Vancouver four years ago.

“I was in Vancouver for the full duration of the Games, about three weeks in all, and it was just a bit too much, very draining.

“This time around some of the team might go to Moscow to train for a few days while the Games are going on.

“The team event is at the start of the Games and the individual event towards the end, so there may be the possibility of heading off halfway through.

“But it will depend on how much practice time we have been allocated on the ice. In Vancouver it was very limited.

“Vancouver was an amazing experience and I learned a lot from it, but I will take a different approach this time.

“Perhaps I made it too big a deal last time.

“I think the way to do it is just to treat the Olympics like any other competition.

“No matter what competition you are in, you are still skating the same programme.

“I’m not looking too closely at placings and results in the Olympics – I will just be focusing on my own performance.

“You could produce your best and not be placed as highly as you’d hoped, or not skate so well but be placed higher than expected. A lot depends on the other competitors.

“I will do my best and after that it’s up to the judges.

“I’m in a better place mentally and physically now,” added the 11-time national champion.

“I’m approaching the Games with a total different outlook this time. I’ve been enjoying training much more I have been a lot healthier which allows me to train even more.

“The confidence of having the training and the hard work done, it obviously helps you in your mindset as well.”

McCorkell has had the date of her Olympic event, February 19, in her mind for some time but will now also compete in the new-look team event, on February 8 after Great Britain was last week announced as one of the ten qualified nations.

However, she’s determined not to look too far ahead, after the disappointment of eight years ago.

“In January I’ve got the European Championships and that is a massive event for me,” she added.

“I’m just continuing my training, not changing too much and hopefully I’ll go to Sochi in really good shape.

“It’s definitely going in the right direction but I know I can still do better than that so there still is room for improvement.

“I’d like to place in the top ten at the European Championships, that is a goal that is achievable if I skate my best.”