Baby-faced Australian figure skater Brendan Kerry says he can match it with the big boys at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Aged just 18, Kerry, along with ice dancing duo Greg Merriman and Danielle O’Brien, were the first athletes named this week in Australia’s team for Russia.
The 57-strong outfit is targeting four to five medals, which will fulfil a top 15 nation aspiration.
Kerry is a second generation Olympian, following in the footsteps of ice dancing mother Monica MacDonald, who competed at the 1988 Calgary Olympics.
MacDonald is now a successful coach and, until recently, oversaw her son’s training and that of Merriman and O’Brien in Sydney before the trio shifted to the United States.
Keen on ice hockey as a kid, Kerry said he wasn’t really interested in following in his mum’s footsteps until she dared him to have go at figure skating and he was hooked.
“I haven’t seen any footage of her skating at the Olympics but I’ve seen a lot of photographs,” Kerry said.
“I’m really excited about getting the chance to go.”
MacDonald is also thrilled about her son’s selection, saying she never doubted his ability.
“I always knew he could do it, he just needed his head in the right place,” she said.
“I don’t think he will be over-awed; he’s grown up with the Olympics around him, the torch is in the house.”
While not a medal hope, Kerry says his routines have enough difficulty to match the competition favourites in the men’s event with two quad jumps.
“I have two quads, which is the most difficult trick.
“Not many skaters have two in their routines, so hopefully I will be able to land those both.”
He said he was hoping to use the Sochi experience to set himself up for the 2018 Games in Korea.
Kerry’s 17-year-old sister, Chantelle, is still an outside chance to also make the team; challenging the selection of her rival Brooklee Han at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) next week.
Kerry didn’t want to comment on her appeal.