The Ski Club caught up with a few of the brightest stars from the British Ski and Snowboard Squad in arguably Europe’s best glacier resort: Les 2 Alpes.
As the hordes sun themselves at the seaside, snow-capped mountains are the last thing on their minds. Great Britain’s elite athletes are still working hard throughout the summer months.
Les 2 Alpes opened its turnstiles to the general public at the end of June, however each year the world’s best riders from a number of disciplines flock to the mountains to train for the upcoming season for a week before the facility is open to the general public. Amongst those lucky enough to be granted access to the 3,600m glacier were some of the British Ski and Snowboard Squad.
For some, like 20 year old Snowboard X athlete Maisie Potter (pictured above right), it was their first time training on the French glacier.
“It’s still something I’m kind of new to I guess, last summer I didn’t do any training on snow, but this year is different, we have more time on snow to up our game for next year”.
The 20 year old is working hard to try and meet her Olympic qualifying criteria, which she hopes to attain in South America this September.
“I have been to L2A before, but not much for summer training, I was here last year towards the end of summer so conditions were really different,” says fellow cross athlete and training partner Emily Sarsfield (above left). “So nice to be in the mountains in the summer, with summer training you have a really intense three hours in the morning and you’ve got the afternoon to do loads of activities, there’s everything we need here for cross training."
The Cross programme is new to British Ski and Snowboard this year, With Emily having been self funded and without a coach for eleven years, both athletes clearly appreciate the support.
"Having the programme behind you helps motivation-wise and all of us are so happy to be in that position,” says Emily, with Maisie adding “the structure and discipline is really helping.”
Both athletes now look forward to the start of the season and further on to Pyeongchang. Emily for one will be hoping for some better luck this Olympic cycle: “Sarsfield and the Olympics haven’t always gone hand in hand – I snapped all four ligaments in my knee on the Vancouver track [2010 Winter Olympics], got told I might never ski again, and in Sochi missed out because of some red tape so that was a really tough mental challenge for me, but re-evaluated everything, back in the game.”
Maisie jokes with Emily: “Third time lucky!!”
It’s clear that the programme is elevating athletes to new levels of performance. Skier X and Boarder X athletes aren’t the only ones who are enjoying this kind of support from BSS - the Ski Club caught up with some of GB Park and Pipe’s brightest young stars that same week on a training camp on the glacier.