THE mother of East Lancashire Olympian Paula Walker has spoken of her pride as she prepares to fly out to Russia to support her.

Bobsledder and soldier Paula, from Blackburn, is set to compete in her second Winter Olympics.

The 27-year-old, who serves in the Royal Signals, finished 11th in the 2010 games in Vancouver.

But it will be the first Olympics for mum Denise and grandmother, Jean Holden.

Denise said: “I’m exceptionally proud. Paula has always been very sporty.

“The Army has encouraged her and allowed her to represent her country.

“She was originally a brakeswoman and she loved it.

“This will be the second time she has done it, and the first time we will be going.”

Denise wasn’t able to see Paula compete in the 2010 games in person because her late husband Paul was fighting terminal cancer.

She added: “She won the Junior World Championships the year before so she couldn’t have made him prouder if she tried.

“We could not go to the games, but I said if she made it again, come hell or high water, I would be there.”

Denise and Jean will be heading to the games next week, but Paula is already there in training.

She has been keeping fans up to date with her Olympics adventure on the social networking site Twitter, and has uploaded several photographs, which include snaps of her room for the games, large Olympic rings, and her relaxing with her Team GB teammates after arriving on Monday.