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Just being a Great Britain team player is perfect for Games debutant Parr

MATTHEW Parr has only arrived in Russia for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics but the Dundee-based Englishman cannot see his Games career extending beyond February 23.

Parr was officially selected in December for the inaugural figure skating team event, earning an unexpected berth as a result of Great Britain's qualification as a nation ranked in the world's top 10.

Of the six figure skaters selected, he will be the only one making an Olympic debut and he is the first to compete as the men's element of the team event is first up.

Parr does not see himself following in the footsteps of ice dancers Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland, pairs couple Stacey Kemp and David King and ladies' entrant Jenna McCorkell, who also studies and trains out of Dundee. All five are making a second Olympic Games appearance in Sochi, having competed at Vancouver 2010, and so Parr isn't going to let any opportunity go to waste in Russia.

"We were a few places out [from qualifying for a men's spot] for Sochi; the same thing happened for Vancouver where we missed out by one place," he said. "I am fortunate that we have the team event. It is a new competition and it's a really interesting experiment for figure skating; I'm a big supporter of it. We usually skate for ourselves but it's great to do it as part of a team, that's going to make it extra special.

"Realistically it could be the only time I get to go to an Olympic Games and the only time I will go to Russia. I am going out to represent Team GB and represent Britain and that's the really exciting thing for me."

Even if Parr does not go on to qualify for future Games, he will always be a history-maker: the first British skater on the ice in the first team event. He is also Britain's first men's contestant since Steven Cousins' appearance at Nagano 1998, although it could be a brief outing if the competition goes as expected and he is not competing individually. But he is not concerning himself with that

"I will be there to support the team in any way possible and just take in as much as I can because it could be a once in a lifetime experience," he said.

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