March 24 - France's Tessa Worley has said she "can't wait" to compete as part of a team again at the International Military Sports Council (CISM) World Winter Games here, fresh from her world title securing appearance at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming.
The 23-year-old non-commissioned officer (pictured top), who claimed gold in the giant slalom in Austria last month, is gearing up to compete with her comrades at Annecy 2013 when the event gets underway tomorrow and said that being part of a team has its benefits when it comes to winning medals.
"The army gave me a purpose, a team to belong to, a future - it's been like my second family," said Worley, who is in training for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
"But more than anything, being named to a French military team means knowing that whatever the circumstances, you'll have support.
"Because when you're a world-class athlete, you experience good times - when you make the podium - but difficulties and doubts too.
"And that's when it's important to know that someone's got your back.
"There's a big difference between World Cup events and the World Winter Games.
"Here we're going after team medals.
"It's one of the very few times when we're all together at one competition.
"So it's really important for us, and for the entire French military ski team.
"There's such a team spirit."
The alpine ski racer from Le Grand-Bornand also revealed her excitement at competing at home in France.
"This fantastic international competition is being hosted by the ski resorts in 'my own mountains' - right in my own back yard," she said.
"All my friends and family will be on hand to experience this awesome military sports event.
"Not to mention that my home ski area, Le Grand Bornand, will be one of the key venues.
"I can't wait to be there."
The 2013 CISM World Winter Games is expecting to attract nearly 1,000 athletes, including Olympic and World Cup champions, from 40 nations to compete in biathlon, indoor sport climbing, ski orienteering, patrol race, short track speed skating, alpine skiing, ski mountaineering and cross country skiing.
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March 2013: Annecy 2013 to welcome 40 nations from across the globe
September 2012: Annecy preparing to welcome nearly 1,000 athletes for World Military Winter Games