It was slightly more complicated getting into Europe for this season. Now with Brexit regulations, you need a VISA and/or resident permit which allows more than 90 days within a 180 day period; extra difficulties alongside COVID restrictions. Speaking of which, I write this from my 7th day of isolation with COVID-19 but luckily my symptoms haven’t been severe.
Once I made it to Europe, our training camps started like (almost) normal in Hintertux. We were joined by Slovenian athlete, Masa Strakl, who was also my flat-mate before injuring her knee; the worst part of sport. I am missing her and wishing her all the best for a speedy recovery.
We also had athletes from Andorra, Czech Republic and Russia join us, FIS Telemark Social Media Coordinator; Sam Decout and his son joined us for a training camp too.
Since winter has kicked in, we have been training in Les Houches and Flaine, conditions for the most part have been brilliant, but recent rain meant a cancellation (potentially postponed) FIS race in Les Houches. It has been so nice to ski at home again after missing out last year, also to be joined by many more of my teammates is a real pleasure.
My summer consisted of friends’ weddings, training, coaching in alpine and telemark both on the dry slopes and indoor slopes in the UK, and ice hockey amongst other things, so here is a photo dump to summarise…
I also graduated (finally) from the University of Suffolk with a 1st Class Bachelors Degree in Sport and Exercise Science. A special thank you to Manos Georgiadis, who is a very significant person in my life, this degree would not have been possible without him.
This season you can expect to see Tim Gough, Ben Emsley, Magnus McIntosh, Colin and Alec Dixon, Bonnie Price and Sissi Compton in the World Cup start gate, and potentially a few more familiar faces…
As always, thank you to all the sponsors, and to everyone making this possible. I am wishing everyone a Happy New Year – let’s see what 2022 brings!
We began training on the slopes back in October with our first camp in Hintertux, Austria. This season, Slovenian athlete; Masa Strakl, has been a regular training buddy of mine, along with the French Telemark Ski Team who have always been close by.
I spent time with the Swiss Telemark Ski Team, training up on the Saas Fee glacier. The conditions were often ideal and I learnt a lot throughout my stay – thank you to the Swiss for having me.
I was even lucky enough to spend time with the German Telemark Ski Team in Kaunertal, Austria. We were always vigilant to stay within the rules, and as the season has progressed the restrictions have become, well more restrictive.
The pre-season training was very interesting for me, there were many positive points to not-being-able to return home between camps, and spending time with other teams opened my mind to new ideas. I do of course miss my family and friends very much; I can’t imagine this time has been easy for anyone.
As December arrived, so did my boyfriend Will who, during winter, works at Praz Sports just beyond Chamonix. Coach; Sebastien Mansart, managed to organise training in Flaine and then Plaine Joux within France, although much time was spent cross country skiing as the resorts have remained closed here in Les Houches.
The COVID situation within the UK became more serious recently and further restrictions were placed on Brits leaving and entering the country. This made traveling very complicated for the majority of my teammates.
The GB Telemark Ski Team has a new clothing sponsor; Maier Sports. The clothing provides a high-quality, bespoke fit along with a five-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship on all products. We are very grateful to Maier Sports for their support; it will now be very easy to spot us on the slopes.
The racing kicked off in Oberjoch, Germany with two races within each discipline; the minimum requirement for a “full” season. The tour has suffered with cancellations of the Slovenian and French part of the circuit, although much work is happening behind the scenes to replace these lost events. We also had competitions in Thyon, Switzerland in the form of two FIS races, which served as the perfect warm up event for the World Cup races in Germany.
The first two days of racing were both Sprint events, I finished 4th and 7th and GB new-comer, Timote (Tim) Gough finished 24th and did not finish (DNF) on day two. Max Screawn, Irish athlete, finished 21st and a career best of 16th place. As you can see below, it was a good day for Switzerland.
The following two days were Parallel Sprint (PS) events; the PS is always so exciting. I managed a 5th and then 9th place after a crash in the first round of racing. Tim and Max unfortunately didn’t qualify within the top 16 men.
A good friend of mine, Matti Lopez (FRA) crashed in the final, finished 2nd but injuring his knee, a small word to wish him well for the future.
The final day was one to remember! Two Classic events after all those races previously, proved to be grueling both physically and mentally. I finished 2nd behind Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) and ahead of Johanna Holzmann (GER) in the first race which felt a real achievement after a tough week. The second race I collected more penalties and finished 6th but was pleased with the day none the less. Tim finished 21st and 20th after skiing very well; Max was 18th and 21st respectably.
It is great to be back in the start gate after such a crazy year. Thank you to all organizers, sponsors and supporters for making this possible. I feel very lucky to be able to do what I am doing.