Matthew Parr’s Olympic moment may have lasted less than three minutes – but he says he will treasure every second.
Ever since his first skating lesson, the 23-year-old from North Shields has dreamed of competing on the biggest stage.
And while there was never likely to be an encore, he says there can be no complaints about a personal best score.
Parr was competing in figure skating’s team event before the Olympic flame was even lit in Sochi and would have only skated again if his British teammates combined to make the top five nations and they did not.
But he did not seem too concerned that his Olympic experience was over before the Games had even officially begun.
“It couldn’t have gone better for me, my goal was to get a personal best and I’ve achieved that, so I’m very pleased and it went as well as I could have hoped,” said Parr, whose short programme score of 57.40 smashed the 49.32 personal best he set at the European Championships.
“The build-up has been intense because this is what I’ve been aiming to do since I was a kid.
“It was a nice release to have finished and put in a performance that I’ll be proud of. In years to come I can look back and say I did as well as I could.
“This is everything I’ve ever wanted as an athlete and to be able to say I’ve competed at an Olympic Games for my country is a very proud moment that I will treasure forever.”
Ten men’s skaters took to the ice to open the first ever figure skating team event to be held at the Winter Olympics and four-time national champion Parr claimed a higher ranked scalp to finish ninth.
He even got the chance to warm-up alongside Evgeni Plushenko, an ageing sporting icon in Russia, whose bid to be selected for these Games was endorsed by none less than president Vladimir Putin.
“I just tried to focus on myself in warm up and not get too engrossed in the situation because it’s quite surreal. I just tried to block everything else out,” added Parr.
“I’d like to have skated gain but I’m still proud of my performance. I’ll only have fond memories of my time here.”
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