Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Musgrave Cross at Being British Best; Skier Disappointed to Miss out on Podium Place

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Musgrave Cross at Being British Best; Skier Disappointed to Miss out on Podium Place

Article excerpt

ANDREW Musgrave's improbable journey from the roller-ski tracks of the Scottish Highlands to a glimpse of the Olympic podium took another giant slide forward with a display of lung-bursting heroism in Pyeongchang.

The 27-year-old recorded the best result by a British cross-country skier with a seventh-place finish in the men's 30km skiathlon - only slipping out of medal contention in the final stages as Norway completed a predictable clean sweep.

Musgrave's ferocious drive to beat the Nordic nations at their own game was evident in his post-race interviews, in which he shrugged off his historic achievement and bemoaned the fact he was not standing there with a remarkable Olympic medal around his neck.

Musgrave said: "It's a decent result but I'm not at the Olympics to come seventh, I'm here to fight for a win.

"That's why I do this. If you don't believe you can win you're not going to spend the thousands of hours out training, suffering every week through interval sessions and pushing your pain limits every session.

"If you told me 10 years ago I would be seventh in the Olympics I wouldn't have thought I would be disappointed with it - but that is what makes an athlete - you want more."

In temperatures of minus 16 at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre, Musgrave's performance warmed the hearts of all those who have witnessed his rise to the point where he considers a seventh-place finish in an Olympic Games not good enough.

Musgrave was placed 12th at the halfway stage, still well within the leading group at the switch-over point between the first 15km in his leastfavoured classical style and his stronger freestyle.

Such was his evident self-belief he continued to improve, at one point sitting in second place and making a medal look a distinct possibility before the Norwegians belatedly edged clear, Simen Krueger beating his veteran compatriot Martin Sundby to gold. …

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