Four years I have had to wait. Four, long years… for my chance at redemption, and that shot of glory.

Sochi 2014, my first winter Paralympic games, does not fill me with fond memories at all.

Don’t get me wrong – it was a phenomenal experience, highlighted by my achievement in becoming the first female to represent Australia in border cross.

Unfortunately, the enormity of the world stage simply got to me.

I was so young, and green, it was almost like I was just happy to be there soaking it all in.

But when I crashed and hurt myself, as spectacularly as I did, there was a part of me that did not want to compete again.

I haven’t publicly spoken of this at great length, but I did take a step back from border cross as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue snowboarding.

I’m so glad I kept with it.

Joany Badenhorst exclusive insight 1

Because looking back now, it was one of the steepest and most amazing learning curves I have ever had, and I simply wouldn’t be heading into Pyeongchang with so much confidence had that not happened.

It opened my eyes to just how competitive I need to be, at all times, and I am a ton more appreciative of the paralympic level now.

At the time, I was too focused on pleasing those around me; in fact, for a long time that has always been my major flaw.

I have always gone into competition simply wanting to make everyone proud of me. While that is not a bad thing, what I often did was put unnecessary pressure on myself.

I’ve worked hard on changing that.

The most important thing going into Pyeongchang is knowing that I am competing for me, and the love of the sport as well.

I’m pleased to say I am the strongest I have ever been on snow; my technique and skill level is the best it has ever been, and I really do feel as though I am on top of my game leading into the games.

Of course, you’re never truly on “top”; there is always improvement, and tweaks that can be had, but I am feeling really strong with where my form and performance is placed.

A lot of hard work has been put in over the last four years, and I feel as though I have controlled as much as I possibly can.

Right now, it’s about going with the flow and seeing how it all pans out.

Joany Badenhorst winter exclusive insight

The biggest thing I am looking forward to though is having my parents, Petro and Pete attend the games.

Not simply to watch me in an olympic games. But simply to watch me compete, period.

You see, my parents have never seen me compete at a live event – so it will be a blessing for our family to all be together in Korea so I can show them what I have been working on these last five years!

I remember having butterflies in my stomach when Dad was telling me they had just booked their tickets; I was sitting on the couch, so nervous yet so excited!

I’ve come to South Korea with the ambition to simply do my best – whether that results in a podium finish or not, will not define me.

I just want to be happy knowing I left everything out there on the day.

If I do that, I know I will feel like a winner.