TROWBRIDGE pilot John Jackson admits he is treading a fine line on his return from serious injury as he starts his build-up to February’s Winter Olympics this weekend.
The 36-year-old Royal Marines Commando has battled back from a ruptured Achilles tendon, suffered during pre-season training in the summer, to lead the British men’s charge towards Sochi in two and four-man events.
Jackson, who lives in Paxcroft Mead with Britain’s women’s number one driver Paula Walker, had surgery in July and has undergone months of rehab work in a bid to salvage his Olympic dream.
The success of that hard work will be tested with the start of the FIBT World Cup series in Calgary, Canada, this weekend.
Jackson continued his fitness preparations on a two-week trip to Sochi for training runs on the Olympic track and he told the Wiltshire Times: “The approach has changed since my injury and it is just about being injury-free and getting as many points as possible.
“Any other setback or further injury could end my Olympic hopes.’’ Jackson was ranked seventh in the world in the four-man event at the end of last season, with the British crew tipped as possible medal contenders in February’s Games.
He added: “The rest of the team were out in Calgary preparing for the first race while I had the development team in Sochi.
“Training here has gone well, we have found a good set up and the equipment is running well.
“We will push as hard as possible and whatever the result is at the bottom will be.
“We will take one race at a time and we hope to slowly improve as the season goes on.’’
Follow the progress of both Paula Walker and John Jackson in the World Cup series and Winter Olympics this season at wiltshiretimes.co.uk/sport and in the Wiltshire Times