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One of the consequences of the year-long delay to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games is that a summer and winter Games will now take place within six months of each other, the closest in the calendar that they have been since the winter cycle was altered after 1992.

Beijing 2022 will get underway in early February, so how much can British winter Olympians and Paralympians learn from, or be inspired by, watching the unusually close summer Games?

Here, three-time winter Olympian Dave Ryding gives us an insight into how much attention he’ll be paying to events in Japan. You can also read Laura Deas’ thoughts on the subject here

“Ordinarily, as a winter athlete I will tune in to the Summer Olympics much like any other British person and be a huge fan for two weeks solid. I will literally watch any sport that is on at the time and get wrapped up in Team GB’s drive for results!

“This time around of course, it will all be slightly different given that we’ll more than likely be away on a training camp in the Swiss Alps, so fitting in as much viewing as normal will be impossible.

“This being said thanks to technology these days, even with my limited skills it is pretty easy to catch up on anything you have missed, so the vibe will be as good as ever!

“There’s the time difference to factor in as well, but if they can, I’d urge British athletes aiming for Beijing to watch some of the action in Tokyo because the energy I feel and get from watching other Brits compete on the international stage is awesome!

“With Tokyo only being six months before the Winter Olympics, I think a lot of this energy will carry straight over to our event as well.

“In COVID times, the most important thing as an athlete is to make sure we go to any competition with an open mind and accept that not everything will run exactly to plan.

“The ability to ‘go with the flow’ will be massively important, so it will be interesting to see how things go in Japan and this may give us a good insight into how things will run for us.

“As long as I respect my bedtime and not get stuck watching the games until the early hours of the next day, I never feel negativity about watching the summer Games!”

With attention beginning to switch towards Tokyo, winter sport athletes are reminded that the full suite of BAC support is available to them in the run-up to Beijing and beyond. For advice, support or guidance on any issue, please email support@britishathletes.org.

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