GB Snowsport Alpine Racer Reece Bell talks about her season so far

In January, I competed in my second round of Europa Cups: two slalom races in Gstaad, Switzerland and two in Zell am See, Austria. Both resorts were incredibly beautiful which allowed me to enjoy the experience outside of the competition. I had previously skied two slalom races in Ahrntal, South Tyrol, Italy in December 2020.

In Gstaad, I earned my first Europa Cup points finishing the first race in 26th. I scored again in Zell am See finishing 20th.

While I did not meet my original goal of making top 30 on the first run at either race (so that I could have a smoother course second run to compete on) I am pleased to have scored Europa Cup points two times.

Reece Bell Europa Cup run

The main thing I took away from the trip is the depth of talent in Europe which has inspired me to work harder so that next time I can meet my goals.

I was happy to join World Cup skier Charlie Guest and her coach Simone Calisanno and ski tech Federico Detragiache “Detra” due to the positive atmosphere and professional set up. It gave me a glimpse of how my future could go if I make it to that level.

It was nice to see my friends on the US Ski Team, some of whom I trained with a few years earlier at Vail with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail including Ainsley Profit.
I am a cat lover and was pleased that our hotel had a cat called Maxi, who quickly became my friend.

Check out Reece’s Athlete workout on Instagram

The GB Snowport team was very supportive and without their help I would have not been able to travel to and through Europe. Traveling during Covid was intense and at times scary. I had to be very conscientious of my surroundings at all times. With all the lockdowns in the UK, Europe and the US I understand that this trip in and of itself was indeed extraordinary. When leaving the US, I had to provide reason for travel out of the country and when entering Germany, a negative test result.

Our team always wore masks, and I was tested every three days. I had to test two times before joining the British Ski Team bubble and twice before rejoining the Denver University (DU) Ski Team. Specific mask mandates also went into effect in Austria whilst I was there. Prior to flying back to the US, I had to again show a negative Covid test and fill out additional paperwork.

The following day after my final race in in Zell am See I flew back to the US. I had a test pre-departure and another post-arrival. It was a few days and more tests before I could rejoin my DU team.

Thanks to synchronous classes in the evening and classes recorded on Zoom which I could watch the next day, I was able to keep up with my schoolwork at DU.

In a few days I will be off with the DU team to compete in Utah for university races and hopefully qualify for the National Collegiate Athletic Association finals. The finals, which are the most important university races, are only open to university athletes and as such are not eligible for FIS rankings. Still, I am hoping to qualify and do well for my team.

Although ski racing for the most part (with the exception of dual events) is an individual sport, I am extremely grateful for the support of the British team, SportsAid, Denver University Ski Team and Ski and Snowboard Club Vail and of course my equipment sponsors in the UK.

Check out Ski Club Workouts you can do in lockdown!