Four-time Winter Olympian Chemmy Alcott teams up with RocketSki to offer her top tips on how to improve your skiing technique for the upcoming season, alongside answering questions about her skiing career and who to look out for on the professional circuit.
Any top tips to stay fit for the ski season ahead?
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare. When you’re out on the mountains you want to go as hard as you can, and you want to make sure your body is prepared to the best it can be and to prevent any likelihood of injury. Winter performance gains are made in the summer!
Get out in the sunshine and get biking, that really helps build up your VMO (your inside knee muscles), which helps protect the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament in your knee) and lots of core.
Any tips for becoming a pro skier?
Enjoy the rollercoaster, in order to be the very best you can be, you’ve got to be prepared to go to the limit. So, to push yourself further than you did yesterday, with that you will get injured in a sport like skiing, you’re going to have amazing highs but you’re also going to have some lows away from the sport. Enjoy every part of the journey and everyday try and push yourself to be better than you were yesterday.
Out of all the races you’ve competed in, which one stood out to you the most?
I’ve probably got 3 races that stand out for me in terms of my all-time greats. The first was when I won the World Children’s Olympics at the age of 11. That really set me up for my career, so I knew what it took to be the best and to strive. I kind of got addicted from that moment to winning.
My second was in Sölden, 2008, when I won in front of 30,000 Austrian fans. I won the second run and the crowd were probably thinking “who’s this British girl winning in front of our Austrian girls?”
The third was probably Turin downhill where I came 11th in the Olympics. I was ranked around 105 at the time in the world, so that was an amazing performance for me. Especially when I found out for 1 minute and 28 seconds of that downhill, I was actually in 3rd position, so that was an epic run for me!
What’s your favourite meal to eat when out in resort?
My favourite meal to eat in resort when I’m not on a diet, 100Ͽs cheese fondue. I love cheese fondue, I also love raclette. I tend to do the “eat as much as you can raclette” so you keep going back and back for more. I think the maximum I’ve ever had is 14 returns, so 14 times I have sent back potatoes to have cheese put on them – beat that!
Apart from skiing, do you take part in any other sports?
Not many other people know this, but apart from skiing I used to play tennis competitively. I played for the South of England. I really love tennis, but I couldn’t cut it psychologically, I didn’t like feeling like I was at war with the girl at the other side of the net.
I like to make friends with the people I race against, so skiing really suited me because it was me against the mountain. I actually love all sports – paddle boarding, surfing, anything where I can challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone. The one thing I don’t love because it hurts my knees weirdly is golf – I enjoy the thought of it. Sometimes, I go to the driving range and hit some balls but my technique’s not great.
Are there any other winter sports you take part in such as snowboarding or cross-country skiing?
I really dislike this notion that skiers and snowboarders don’t like each other. We’re out there on the mountain, we’re sharing the mountain, we’re sharing our experiences and our love for snow. I LOVE snowboarding – I learnt quite late in my career, but I’ve always been a surfer and I love wakeboarding. I’ve also done some cross-country skiing before; I’ve done the World’s Toughest Ski Race across the Artic – it was definitely a massive challenge for me.
Telemarking is a really fun sport, really tough and we’ve got one of the world’s best telemarking athletes from Britain – Jaz Taylor is a fantastic skier and she’s really mixing it with the best in the world – winning World Cups!
I love everything there is to do with winter sports – even tobogganing!
Are there any upcoming skiers we should look out for on the professional circuit?
For years it was always about Lindsey Vonn breaking that Ingemar Stenmark record, which she got so close to despite having all those injuries and if it wasn’t for the latter part of the career and her injuries, I really believe she would’ve matched or beaten it. Hirscher WILL beat it in the foreseeable future and then Shiffrin will SMASH it. She’s incredibly talented, she’s hungry and skis with such effortless aggression and precision – I love watching her ski. From Britain, we’ve got Alex Tilley in giant slalom and Charlie Guest in slalom, they both skied really well last year, so I’m excited to see their progress on the World Cup circuit – and obviously Dave Ryding. It’s really his time to shine, he’s got not many years left in his career but he still is and can be one of the best of all time.
You’ve been on quite a few reality TV shows outside of your busy schedule, including The Celebrity Chase, Dancing on Ice and Pointless! Are there any other shows you would love to appear on?
I’ve been fortunate during my career to be invited on a few TV shows. I took part in Dancing on Ice and came 5th, which I loved – was good at the skating, but terrible at dancing, which really inhibited my progress in that show! I’ve also been on The Chase, Pointless, Question of Sport and I recently filmed A League of Their Own, which is going to be shown at the end of August. I love all those shows, it’s really great fun getting out of your comfort zone.
What would I like to do? I’ll give my go at everything, I think it’s really important to keep challenging yourself, especially as a mum. Because quite often my life revolves around the kids so it’s really fun to feel those nerves!.