Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Four years ago, it looked like Anna Ringsred's Olympic dreams were in the rearview mirror.
"I choked. Four years ago at the same competition, I went in, and I got stiff. I was so nervous, and I didn't perform well," Ringsred said.
Ringsred came into the Olympic Trials as a favorite in 2010, but narrowly missed on booking her ticket to Vancouver in the 3,000 meters.
"I was the fittest I'd ever been. I was actually doing quite well. My times I had posted were the best in the United States at that time. I really thought I was going to make it. When I didn't, I was devastated."
It was after that devastation the Duluth Marshall grad decided to take some time off from speed skating. Two years to be exact. But she says if she had to do it again, she wouldn't change a thing.
"I feel like I've learned in these past two years things that I wouldn't have ever learned had I gone back then. They say it's all about the journey, and I think that's true."
It's a journey that will bring Ringsred to Sochi in a few short weeks as part of Team USA. While her goal is to medal at the Games, she says just being there is enough.
"I realized that I've already come so far, I've already won. I've gotten to the point where I love it again. I'm just going to race because I love it."
While she's excited to race, Ringsred admits that's not the only thing she's looking forward to in Sochi.
"When I think of the Olympics, that's what I think of, the Opening Ceremonies. Walking in with your country and the garb, that's what I think of and that's what I've been wanting this whole time."
Only 28 more days until Ringsred will get the chance to sport the red, white, and blue.