A flurry of great results for the British Ski Team has got the season off to a great start. Bryony Grimes sat down with one of the countries hottest new talents, Charlie Raposo, to find out what makes him tick...

At only 20 years old, British Alpine skier Charlie Raposo has already made a name for himself as GB’s highest ranked Giant Slalom skier. Born and bred in England, but committed to a life on the snow, he’s spent time across Europe and the US in his efforts to pave a way to the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. 2016 is a big year in Charlie’s calendar, and it has everything to do with Sölden - making his first appearance on the World Cup circuit at the season opener, it all starts now for this young and highly driven skier. Bryony Grimes caught up with him shortly after the race and we had a chat about all things skiing related…

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What was your take on the race - did it live up to your expectations of a World Cup slalom?
CR: It was a lot of fun. I knew what this level of racing would be like; obviously it was the most competitive slalom I’ve ever taken part in, but it didn’t come as a surprise and I was able to successfully think of it as just another race.

What have you been focusing on in training, and how did it carry over into your performance on the day?
CR: I’ve been working a lot in training on trying to generate speed turn after turn 100% of the time, by constantly arcing and bending the ski. Unfortunately, I didn’t ski like I had done in the few days prior to the race, but that’s the sport we do. It takes time and work.

So, what are your short term goals - including the St. Moritz Championships in 2017?
CR: St. Moritz is certainly a goal for me. Specifically, this year I really want to tackle the European cup tours, as well as competing in my second World Champs, and also my final World Junior Champs in Are, Sweden.

In contrast, what are your long term goals; what are your hopes for the Winter Olympics in 2018?
CR: The 2018 Winter Olympics are definitely what I’m aiming for - to achieve that I just need to keep my head down, work on getting faster and develop as an athlete.

Serious stuff aside, where in the world is your favourite place to ski?
CR: This is definitely the hardest question to answer! I love Verbier for free skiing because it’s where I grew up and I love the town. For training it varies all the time, but if the snow is good and the weather is blue bird, then I have no complaints on where I’m skiing - everywhere is perfect under those circumstances and in those conditions!

When Charlie Raposo isn’t skiing, where would we find him!?
CR: Definitely enjoying some downtime. When I’m not skiing there is a lot of physical training to be done, but it is nice to be at home in London and not be living out of a suitcase. It’s also nice to feel like my body isn’t breaking on a day to day basis like it is on snow!

Since you’re a brilliant example of young success, what words of wisdom do you have to our smaller snow-sports fanatics, or student skiers?
CR: Just take the plunge into the deep end. Enjoy it. Go to your university skiing team and immerse yourself in the sport. It’s amazing, and when you step back and look at the bigger picture (instead of how fast/slow you are), then you never ever want to stop.

Follow Charlie on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with her throughout the race season.

Photo: Charlie Raposo