WYOG 2012: Henderson learning from past mistakes in Austria
AFTER a disappointing debut in GB colours, Edinburgh skier Paul Henderson insists he is now perfectly prepared to take on the world's best when the Winter Youth Olympic Games get underway this week in Innsbruck.
SECOND CHANCE: Paul Henderson is desperate to improve on his debut performance in his second outing as a GB representative
The 17-year-old struggled in Liberec last year, failing to record a finish in either the Giant Slalom or the Slalom, a chastening experience that Henderson admits was tough to take.
But after re-claiming his GB alpine skiing slot with the fastest run in the trial last month the Stewart's Melville College pupil, who is part of a 24-strong team heading to Austria, is desperate to set the record straight this time around.
"What happened in Liberec was not exactly what I wanted from a results point of view," he said.
"But it was a fantastic experience for me and hopefully it will prove to be a massive learning curve for this time around.
"First things first I need to record a finish because that's the only way I can start to compare myself to my rivals, two DNFs in Liberec meant I don't have much to go on.
"And the competition here is going to be fierce, the best skiers of this age group from all over the world are here so it's a great chance to test myself against the best.
"A finish is the aim rather than any particular position, I don't want to be getting too far ahead of myself at the moment.
"I've had a real confidence boost by winning the trial, I got the fastest time with my final run so I know that I've got it in me so now I need to produce it on the big stage."
Last year's European Youth Winter Olympic Festival can be chalked up as a learning experience on the slopes for Henderson but off the slopes the 17-year-old insists he is already looking forward to getting back into the Olympic atmosphere.
"It's a great chance to get back together with the team, meet some old faces and also hopefully make some new friends," he added.
"A lot of the team were in Liberec so I know them well and the team atmosphere is a great place to be, everyone is packed in together and the competition sort of rubs off on each other."
The British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic values. www.olympics.org.uk
(c) Sportsbeat 2011