The 36-year-old is widely recognised as the greatest British skier of all time and says he still has the appetite to add to his legacy in the sport which spans more than 15 years.
“I’m feeling pretty decent,” he told Eurosport. “It’s always the time when you’re getting into the winter and the winter snow so you’re getting accustomed to that again, but body and mind and everything feels good.
“I never count my chickens, but I feel like I can definitely have another good shot at it and give it my all. Time will tell.
“I don’t think I ever expected to still be able to do this at my age, so each year is a bonus and a clean slate.
“I try and treat every year as potentially my last but also if it’s good then try and do another one. But I’ll be realistic, speaking to my family is important and just do my best and put everything into it.”
For many athletes, Olympic glory is the ultimate, but that isn’t the case for Ryding.
Instead, growing up in the north of England he always dreamed of making his mark for Britain on the World Cup stage, an appetite which is driven by a desire to test himself against the best on a regular basis.
“To be honest my focus has always been World Cup-orientated,” he added. “My goal as a kid was to be in the top 30 in the World Cup and that’s kind of etched in my mind that the World Cup is the thing for me. I want to perform every weekend, I don’t like just thinking about one race a season.
“I love racing, I love testing myself so I want to compete every race weekend and there are even more slaloms in the World Cup this year, so I’m quite happy there’s no distractions and we can just race the World Cup. I enjoy it.
“I really don’t like getting drawn into the one race a season. It’s not really how I operate. I like to try my best every day.”
Ryding is currently in Levi, Finland, where it is -11 degrees, as he prepares for the first men’s slalom event of the 2023/24 World Cup on November 18 in Gurgl, Austria.
Having notched his first win in January of last year he would, naturally, love to get another. But his ultimate goal is to perform more consistently and record his highest finish across an entire campaign.
There is also an additional carrot that is dangling within his grasp.
“I think a simple goal is to be top 10 as often as I can, because that’s where I feel like it’s really at the top,” he said. “Picking up podiums is where I want to be and if I get a podium after Christmas I’ll be the oldest ever slalom skier on the podium, so that’s quite a cool thing to aim for in my eyes.
“But also if I can get into the season well like I did a couple of seasons ago then I could really challenge for the top five in the overall, that would be really where I set my top goal.
“I’ve just got to take care of doing the right training and putting myself in a position to be able to do that, that’s all I’m thinking about at the moment.
“Then once the races come, I’ll be like, ‘Right, let’s get this old dog dancing again’.”
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