The 2014 Winter Olympics open tomorrow in Sochi and for Potters Bar athlete Kenny Howard they will have extra significance.

The 24-year-old is a member of the British Skelton team and while he will not be competing in Russia, a number of his teammates will.

While Howard will look on from afar this year, he is determined to represent Team GB and has targeted a gold medal at the 2018 Olympics.

He said: “I’m looking forward to watching our guys in Sochi and I hope they can do really well. My main aim is still 2018 and finishing with a gold.

“I would love to go to an Olympics and take in the whole experience. It is my dream to go to Pyeong Chang.”

Howard has been involved in the skeleton bob for less than three years after being identified in 2011 through the Power2Podium program – a scheme aimed at finding future Olympic champions.

After two years of brisk development, he began competing in events during the past 12 months and has impressed.

He explained: “It has gone really well. I’ve spent two years developing and this is my first competitive year.

"I’ve competed in the Europa and North Americas Cups and the Intercontinental Cup. I managed a fourth and fifth-place finish at Lake Placid at the start of this year which I was very pleased with.

“So it has been a really good year for me and hopefully I can continue to do well over the next couple of years.”