MICA McNEILL claims her medal bid will be ‘people powered’ after finally securing her Winter Olympic selection earlier today.

Consett bobsleigh pilot McNeill paid tribute to the hundreds of people who donated to her fundraising page after an administrative blunder left her facing the possibility of missing out on a trip to South Korea.

When the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association announced in September their overspending had left no money for the women’s team to seal a place at next month’s Winter Olympics, McNeill and teammate Mica Moore were forced into drastic action.

Now standing at more than £41,000 in donations and with nearly 800 contributors, McNeill said reaching the target of £30,000 inside a week of learning of the error had been a huge high on and off the ice.

“We’ve had ‘powered by the people’ on our sled all season, for all eight races, they have been pushing us. It’s awesome,” said the 24-year-old, who won the World Junior title with Moore last January.

“People see it and ask what it means and we can say ‘the people of Great Britain have powered us to get here’.

“Not just with donations, whether it’s been messages of support or sharing our story, the people of Great Britain have really shown that they’ve got behind British athletes and they love their sport and they have got us to where we are.”

And McNeill - who won silver at the Youth Olympics six years ago - claims they aren’t just travelling to make up the numbers when they fly out to South Korea this weekend.

Last November they recorded the best result by a women’s team since 2009, finishing fifth. And they followed that earlier this month with an impressive seventh in St Moritz, following a nasty crash the week before.

Although the news they might not get the chance to compete was devastating at first, it didn’t take McNeill’s brain long to reprogram from ‘career over’ mode to setting up the page.

“When I first got the news it was really emotional and your brain automatically pulls you to, ‘It’s over, my career is over’,” she added. 

“But that was really short-lived for me and it really quickly switched to, ‘No, I have to do something about this’.

“Me and the girls had worked so hard for years and we had given our all. We were not just going to roll over and give up.

“That devastation of ‘it’s all over’ came to mind but it very quickly turned to, ‘Right, we will have to fight for this and if we want to get to the Olympic Games, which we know we can get to, we have to somehow gather the money together to do it’.

“That money was the base, that was the start, and that has been what has put our whole season together.

“It’s a journey that I didn’t know how it was going to turn out. But I can honestly say that I’m so, so glad that we went ahead with it and really fought because I’m here today kitting out and it’s amazing.”

* You can watch Mica compete LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player on Tuesday 20th February at 11.50am. Don’t miss a moment of the Olympic Winter Games on Eurosport, Eurosport player and at www.Eurosport.co.uk