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22 Feb 2018 15:49
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  •   Home > News > Sports > General

    Dobbin's comeback an inspiration at Games

    New Zealand speed skater Peter Michael has lauded teammate Shane Dobbin's decision to come out of retirement for the Winter Olympics.

    Veteran speed skater Shane Dobbin's decision to come out of retirement has inspired his New Zealand teammates' medal bid at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

    The 38-year-old Dobbin is preparing in South Korea to compete at his third Games despite retiring after Sochi 2014.

    He will line up in the individual 10,000m next week and team pursuit alongside Reyon Kay and Peter Michael on February 21 after being courted into a comeback.

    "It took me a couple of months to decide," Dobbin told NZ Newswire in PyeongChang on Tuesday.

    "I got a call from Reyon explaining the possibility of the team pursuit.

    "He looked at our times versus everyone else who competes in the team pursuit and he worked out we could theoretically be ranked third if we were all skating to our potential.

    "I had a job and family at home so it wasn't an easy decision. I haven't been home since August.

    "But I don't regret it at all. It's been a great decision."

    Michael, who will also compete in the mass start, 1500m and 5000m, and 1500m and mass-start specialist Kay believe a team pursuit medal is possible.

    They've been in awe of their veteran teammate's willingness to undergo a punishing training regime.

    "When I've had a hard session, it always helps having that extra drive that Shane didn't come back for no reason," Michael told NZ Newswire on Tuesday.

    "I don't want to let him down."

    Dobbin, who lives on the Gold Coast, said he had the backing of his family to return and would have been tempted by another Olympics even without a prospect for a medal.

    He said his experience has enabled him to adopt a "train smarter, not harder" approach.

    "The only doubts probably came from myself. Am I too old? Am I still motivated enough to push my body past where it's supposed to be pushed?" he said.

    "But I've had nothing but from support from my family.

    "My wife actually made it very clear: 'you've only got one chance to be an athlete. You can live the rest of your life later'.

    "I would say it's probably a little bit easier my body now. It's more that I'm probably in tune with what I'm capable of doing and when I need to take a break.

    "The training's just as intense.

    "But now I know better when to push myself and when to recover."


    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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