When was the first time you skied?
I was eighteen months old in Flaine. My parents were both professional sports people. My Dad was a rugby player and my mother was a swimmer. I think I was made to be a skier, I had my father’s glutes and my mother’s lungs! They fell in love with skiing when they retired from professional sport. My eldest brother was skiing when I was born, like any younger sibling I just wanted to be like him. So the second winter after I was born I got on skis and Boom! That was it!
Most memorable ski race and why….
100% Solden in 2008. For years there had been lots of chat about if I had what it takes to win a World Cup. I don’t know if I didn’t believe I could win or because of my fear of failure or letting anyone else down was the reason that I was never able to find the freedom to be my very best in a race.
In the first race run I made a mistake and I only just qualified for the second heat. I remember being in the Start Gate thinking, “There’s no pressure... there’s no expectation... just go for it .” That was the run that I made history and became the first, and only British women skier to win a race in Workd Cup. That was a pretty amazing race for me.
Best moment on skis?
I have so many, I am so spoilt by the diversity of the experiences I get on skis, it’s amazing. I love when you have a downhill piste all to yourself and you can really push the limits - I skied at 92 mph in a World Cup. That was just amazing. But equally jumping out of an aeroplane in Iceland and skiing those powder fields down to the ocean was breathtaking. But now being a mum and skiing with Locki is just insane. Seeing the abundance of confidence and fearlessness in someone so small...it’s awesome..
So best moment on skis?... a really hard one to answer because it’s not my racing moments... it’s the other amazing times I have on skis that makes me realise how fortunate I am.
Worst moment in skis?
Easier to answer! That moment when the world stops and you know you are going to crash. Its happened to me quite a few times, being a downhiller, you develop tunnel vision when you are about to crash and everything really slows down. You think “I need to protect my head, my heart” - you try to go floppy, even thoughevery instinct is telling you to brace. So the very worst moment on skis was the crash in 2010 in Lake Louise. It was devastating because I was in my prime having come back from injury. As I was falling and I knew it was going to be bad.
Best apres ski party ... don’t hold back!
A press trip to Val d’Isere. We were staying at the Marco Polo Hotel. It was a wild few days! I had to rest for two weeks after that trip. I am actually not very good at partying hard! I love apres ski though. It’s the best party you can have because it’s the day time and you still get to go to bed at 9 pm.
At the Carlsberg High Five party in Verbier I have set fire to the bar and danced on top of it ... I have sucked whipped cream off multiple world champions’ heads... what goes on tour, stays on tour... going to stop speaking now.
Most memorable able ski outfit?
After 30 years of my life racing in Lycra with crazy patterns - I expect it should be one of those but actually in lockdown I hosted a Virtual Snow Camp charity event I wore a crazy fluorescent one piece - that was a memorable one!
The person you would like to ski with for a day?
My mum... I would love one more day skiing with her and her grandsons because it would make my life complete. Seeing the passion that she helped evolve - it’s emotional saying this - yesterday I skied with Locki my son, she would have loved to have seen that. I can see myself in her now. I see my boys skiing with huge amounts of recklessness and craziness. I guess that’s how it was when I skied with her!
Favourite meal on the mountains?
I just love cheese. I love fondue. I love raclette. l seriously love cheese Sometimes followed by a lie down but cheese. Always cheese...