Naomi Edmondson was one of the best freestyle skiers of her generation, but as Hannah Engelkamp found out, a series of injuries forced her into early retirement - but what happened next?

As Part 1 of Hannah Engelkamp's interview revealed, at the peak of her powers, Naomi was up there with the world's best. But she kept on getting hurt. Freeskiing is a dangerous business, and after suffering the misery of missed winter seasons and many long stints of convalescence, Naomi hung up her ski boots for good and hasn't skied again since.

But isn't it heartbreaking to find yourself fighting with nerves, where previously you were fearless? And how do you get over being forced to give up your passion? Thankfully Naomi turned that trademark ambition to the next thing, and it turns out she's winning in her new life too, says Hannah Engelkamp.

(HE) Do you still compete?

(NE) I don't compete anymore, in fact I haven't been skiing in about five years. When I moved back to England permanently I was a student for four years, and couldn't really afford the holidays. But also to be honest the number of injuries I'd had left me with anxiety about skiing and the risk of damaging my knee again.

So you stopped skiing because of multiple injuries. Were you sad to give it up? Has it given you any tools that are useful in your life now?

Yeah, I had several big injuries; a spiral fracture to my humerus, I've have had my ACL reconstructed twice and tore a hamstring tendon. I was definitely sad to give up skiing, but the injuries had affected my mindset and I didn't want to risk damaging my body any more for a sport that made me increasingly nervous. By the end of my last season I was totally ready to move on and I was excited about doing something more cerebral. The frustration of not being able to ski at all because of injuries was really intense, and I often use that memory as motivation to get on with work, because there's nothing stopping me.

Does skiing therefore mean something different to you now?

Skiing is a totally different thing for me now. I definitely will ski again but it will be in a very different way to before. I certainly won't be venturing into the snowpark; I value my fitness and health too much in the rest of my life to want to risk it there. I cycle everywhere in London, which is a kind of thrill in itself, and I run a lot. If I couldn't do those things I don't think I could live in London. I used to be quite competitive, but as I've got older that's definitely decreased.

Is it important to make kit, events, magazines etc for women, or is it more of a statement to choose not to define yourself as a woman skier?

Hmm, I'm not sure about this. Generally it annoys me when there's an unnecessary gender distinction. I don't feel any affinity with stereotypically female branding and colours and I would never want to be referred to as a 'woman skier'. We're all just out there skiing because we love it, I'm not sure what relevance gender is.

And what are you up to now?

I've lived in London for six years now. I studied Graphic Design here for four years and am now a full-time freelance designer and illustrator. I have a street art project called Survival Techniques and currently have seven large-scale paintings across London. A Survival Technique is a super simple thing that people do when they're feeling shit that helps them to feel better. These words become bright, hand-painted typography that promotes and encourages positive thinking and uplifts the urban surroundings.

You can see them all at where there's also links to the Facebook page and Instagram. I also work for an illustrated book publisher, designing page layouts and book covers. I share a studio space in Peckham with two other designers where I work on illustration, branding and general design projects. All of my work is on my website at If anyone's looking for a designer and illustrator with actual ski knowledge and a love for the mountains then give me a shout.

Can you nominate any other excellent women?

How about Claire Hughes who now has Canadian residency and lives in Whistler?

Thank you Naomi! We'll be talking to Claire Hughes next! Watch this space...