FROM Bassaleg Comprehensive School to the Olympic Sliding Centre in Pyeongchang – it’s been quite a journey for Newport’s Mica Moore.

There have been a few bumps along the way and the 25-year-old can expect a few more when she and Mica McNeill become fully fledged Olympians this morning.

Moore is dreaming of following in the footsteps of Laura Deas, who became the first Welsh athlete to win a Winter Olympic medal when she claimed bronze in the skeleton on Saturday.

But the former Newport Harriers sprinter is just delighted to be taking part in South Korea – something she never expected and an ambition that looked like being cruelly crushed as recently as last September.

Here at Argus Towers we will be gathering round the office TV to cheer her on and the city couldn’t ask for a better ambassador on the biggest stage.

Moore first featured in the Argus as a promising young track athlete who was appearing in long-forgotten BBC Saturday night gameshow Winter Wipeout back in January 2012.

In 2011 she had represented Great Britain at the European Junior Championships in Estonia as part of the 4x100m relay team.

I first wrote about her as part of a feature on her mum Lolita Byfield-Moore, who won two gold medals at the British Masters Athletics Championships in August 2012.

And I interviewed Mica for the first time in February 2013 before following her progress on the track through to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where she helped the women’s 4x100m relay squad set a new national record in the final.

“The atmosphere out there was amazing,” she told me in the bowels of a packed Hampden Park.

“I will never forget this experience but we want it to be the start.”

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Her main target back then was the 2018 Commonwealths on the Gold Coast.

“I’ve bought my flip-flops for Australia in four years,” she joked. “That is definitely something to drive towards and I’m sure all of us will work hard to get there.”

But her 2015 season was a washout after she was struck down by a virus following a training camp in America.

“I had something very similar to glandular fever and it wiped me out for the whole season. It was horrible,” she said.

“It was quite scary but if anything the experience has made me more hungry to succeed.”

Mica was crowned Welsh 100m champion last summer but by then her focus had shifted to bobsleigh.

“I saw that they were doing some testing to recruit some new members and I knew one of the boys on the squad – Judah Simpson,” she explained.

“He said it was an amazing experience so I should come along and see if I liked it.

“I gave it a try and I liked what I saw!”

Mica was selected as a brakewomen in the Great Britain bobsleigh women's World Cup squad in November 2016.

And she quickly formed a bond with pilot Mica McNeill, a silver medallist at the 2012 Youth Winter Olympics and 2017 world junior champion.

The duo won two silvers at the North American Cup in Calgary – Moore’s first competitive event – and all appeared to be going to plan until September 2017.

That was when British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association (BBSA) dropped the bombshell that they had withdrawn funding from its women’s bobsledders just five months before Pyeongchang 2018.

The two Micas were told that they must raise £30,000 to keep their Winter Olympics dream alive.

An online crowdfunding campaign saw them reach that total within a week but the added stress hardly helped preparations.

And, having overcome that hurdle as well as a nasty crash in Germany last month, it will mean that little bit more when the pair are standing at the top of the track waiting for their first run shortly before midday today.

Can they win a medal? McNeill and Moore have never finished on a World Cup podium, claiming a career-best finish of fifth in Whistler in November.

But they placed joint-second and third in their final two training runs on Monday.

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“Anything can happen in this sport,” said Moore, who is being cheered on in Pyeongchang by mum Lolita and dad Lawrence (above) as well as boyfriend Curtis.

“Realistically, a top-10 finish would be a great result for us.

“It’s still very surreal,” she added.

“I didn’t think I would make an Olympics, summer or winter, so it’s nice that all the hard work that has gone in has counted for something.

“I’m really excited to represent GB at this level and hopefully we can do the country proud.

“We haven’t slid here before but Mica really likes the track and the practice runs went really well.

“We have been waiting a few weeks now so I’m really excited to get on the ice and compete.”

Good luck Mica; you will do Newport, Wales and Great Britain proud. Just make sure you avoid another Winter Wipeout.