Nerves of ice ... Michelle Steele on a dry run for the skeleton event.
Ten of Australia's fastest - and craziest - female athletes have been handpicked to hurtle themselves head first down an icy run at speeds greater than 120kmh, all in the pursuit of winning an Olympic gold medal at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics.
But none of them have competed in the death-defying event called the skeleton, which involves rocketing on a sled lying down on the same run used as the bobsled.
Australian Institute of Sport scientists are convinced that searching for the right type of athlete will reap quick Olympic dividends in the event that was only reintroduced to the Olympic program at the last Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. It was contested by women for the first time there.
The institute of sport says there is less depth in the women's event than the mens'.
It searched for explosive females between 1.5 metres and 1.7 metres tall, weighing between 50 and 70 kilograms and with top acceleration.