The 35-year-old’s Olympic expectations have ramped up since his World Cup victory on his 97th time trying at Kitzbuhel in January.
Now there’s a very real prospect of further pressure if Ryding unexpectedly goes to the start gate for Wednesday’s slalom in search of Britain’s first medal in Beijing.
The Rocket’s response sits somewhere between Dunkirk spirit and stiff upper lip.
“If it so happens that there are still no medals by the time it comes, I’ll be extra motivated,” said Ryding.
“I’ll dig even deeper and do what I can. I’ve been in positions before when I’m not skiing well or something’s not going right and I’ve pulled something out.
“The vibe’s good in the team. It’s easy to watch and dwell on the negatives. It’s not all doom and gloom, I’ve seen much worse situations.
“We’re Brits, we’ll always stick together and we’re a hardy nation. Don’t worry, keep calm. I might get a T-shirt printed that says ‘keep calm and watch slalom!”
Ryding can speak from experience as one of four four-time Olympians on Team GB.
He featured at Vancouver 2010, where Amy Williams’ skeleton gold was Britain’s one and only medal.
After a historic win at Kitzbuhel, Britain’s first World Cup triumph, Ryding called his last race before the Olympics a “slap back to reality”.
Men’s slalom skiing schedule
Wednesday 16 February
- Men’s Slalom Run 1 – 2.15am
- Men’s Slalom Run 2 (gold medal event) – 5.45am
He finished 20th at Schladming in another reminder of the unpredictability of slalom racing.
The slalom circuit has produced six different winners in six World Cup races this season with 14 different skiers have stood on the podium at some stage.
“Someone in that group has to finish 14th,” said Ryding. “I know that it’s in me to win and I can be reassured to do it on the day. Expectation is naturally going up since Kitzbuhel and that’s fine. That’s because I’m skiing well.
“If expectation was rock bottom, I wouldn’t be in a good place. With success comes expectation, I’ve just got to do the right things.”
The majority of alpine skiing medals at this Games have gone with form – that’s if you discount out Mikaela Shiffrin’s struggles.
Shocks are never far away in the sport with men’s technical skiing still in a transitional phase after the retirement of Austrian legend Marcel Hirscher.
China’s artificial snow is icy and slippery but the ‘Ice River’ piste holds fewer pitfalls than the likes of Adelboden and Kitzbuhel, both of which have yielded medals for Ryding.
How to watch Winter Olympics 2022
If you want to watch every moment live, you will need to have a Discovery+ subscription. You can sign up for Discovery+ here.
Discovery is promising subscribers access to up to 15 simultaneous events and special “pop-up channels” for the most popular sports such as ice hockey and curling.
As with last year’s Tokyo Summer Games, the BBC will be restricted to two live feeds.
The BBC will screen more than 300 hours of live coverage across BBC One and BBC Two, with additional coverage available on a second live digital stream on BBC iPlayer, the red button and the BBC Sport website.
Beijing is eight hours ahead of the UK, meaning many of the events will take place late at night in UK time.
Here’s the daily BBC schedule:
- Midnight-6am – overnight action presented by Ayo Akinwolere, BBC One
- 6am-9am – Jeanette Kwakye hosts live action, BBC Two9.15am-1pm – Hazel Irvine presents the main morning show, with live events and highlights, BBC One on weekdays, BBC Two on weekends
- 9.15am-1pm – Hazel Irvine presents the main morning show, with live events and highlights, BBC One on weekdays, BBC Two on weekends
- 3pm-6pm – JJ Chalmers presents extended replays, BBC Two
- 7pm-8pm – Today at the Games with Clare Balding, BBC Two
- 8pm-8.55pm – Aimee Fuller presents another extended highlights package, BBC Three
And having finished ninth at PyeongChang 2018, Britain’s best alpine skiing result in 30 years, Ryding has absolutely no reason to hold back.
“The course is quite mellow,” said Ryding. “It’s going to be tight racing and I’m going to have to risk more than I normally do at a World Cup.
“I’ve been good on all World Cup pistes, I’ve proven I can do it in any conditions, it’s all about what happens on the day.
“I am in the mindset of do or die. I’ve had a ninth at the Olympics and built my way in. I’ve had a decent one, there’s no point in trying to get another ninth.
“I may as well try to get better. The only way to do that now, especially with slalom, is to risk it. The winner will take it all and I’ve got to stay in that mindset.”
Watch All the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 live on discovery+, Eurosport and Eurosport app