Search Jerry Rice on the internet and you will have to scroll an awful long way before coming across High Wycombe's latest sporting star.

It's the price you have to pay for sharing your name with an American football great but, while it makes for good banter when competing in America, British skeleton athlete Rice is determined to make himself more recognisable thanks to his performances at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang next week

“I constantly get referred to as the greatest NFL wide receiver of all time,” said the 27-year-old, who will compete in the opening two runs of the men's skeleton next Thursday.

“It causes shock at American tracks when people see or hear Jerry Rice on the start list, and it’s not the Jerry Rice they’re used to.

“But I’d like to get to the point where when you type Jerry Rice into Google my face comes up as well as his.”

Olympic debutant Rice is a relative late comer to skeleton, which involves individuals hurtling themselves down a track at speeds of up to 80mph with their face inches from the ice.

A former semi-professional rugby league and union player, he switched to the sport after developing a love of winter sports while working at the world-famous Cresta Run in St Moritz.

“I was working the clubhouse helping with admin tasks,” he explained.

“I got to slide on it and at the end of the season someone said to me: ‘You might be quote good at skeleton’. So I got in contact with British Skeleton and went through all their testing criteria.

“I used to ski a little bit, I was a rugby player before, league mainly. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do so I took a leap of faith and now I'm here at an Olympics.”

Part of a four-strong British skeleton team out in South Korea for the Games, Rice has individuals to lean on for advice with fellow male athlete Dom Parsons competing at his second Olympics – and of course there is Lizzy Yarnold, the reigning women’s champion, seeking to become the first Brit to defend a Winter Olympic title.

For Rice, the experience will represent more a learning curve but it's one he's not shying away from.

“Everyone will have had the same number of runs as us and the field’s going to be a lot closer together than I think you’d see for a World Cup race,” he said. “I'm just going to go out there and enjoy it.”

“There are definitely areas that will catch people out and there’s enough about the track so it’s not just going to be about the fast pushers pushing fast. You’re going to have to be a good driver and really on your game.” 

Watch Jerry Rice compete live on the Eurosport Player on Thursday February 15. Don’t miss a moment of the Olympic Winter Games on Eurosport and Eurosport Player. Go to