Chemmy Alcott to comeback at scene of injury
Fearless British alpine racer Chemmy Alcott has revealed she will make her comeback to competitive skiing at the scene of the horror crash which almost ended her career two years ago.
The three-times Olympian suffered the nightmare spill in a training run at Lake Louise in December 2010 which left broken bones in her right leg piercing her skin. She was airlifted from the slopes and had nine screws and a metal plate inserted by surgeons.
Undeterred, she will return to action at the Canadian venue on 30 November for a World Cup downhill, almost exactly two years to the day of the smash. “It was just a freak accident,” says the 30 year old, who was 11th in the women's downhill at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. “I love that hill and have had some of my best results there. I am really anxious to race now. I can visualise it.”
During her injury lay-off the Londoner had carved out a successful media career, as a television commentator and most notably as a contestant on ITV’s ‘Dancing on Ice’ earlier this year. But she maintains that skiing was where her heart lay.
“At the end of the day I love to ski. I am not doing it for money - I am doing it because I love it. I have got the rest of my life to retire. I have only got one chance to comeback.” With the Winter Olympics set to take place in Sochi, Russia in 2014, Alcott also believes her best is yet to come in what would be a fourth Games.
“I think I am a more rounded athlete than I was before the accident. I was very much ‘a bull in a china shop’ before. But within two weeks (of the accident) we were looking at ways in which I could improve.
“If you asked most athletes if they would take a year or two out and have everything taken apart and analysed and put back together they wouldn’t do it as they wouldn’t want to miss events. I was forced to do it and I think it has done me good.
“I have learned more about the physics of the sport. My first day back in training, we had the GPS on me and I reached 123km per hour, which I the fastest I have ever been. I think I am going to be a more mature and tactical racer now.”
Alcott also noted that during her career she has a tendency to start the season strongly and then have a dip in form at the season end. So she has resisted the temptation to make her comeback at last weekend’s World Cup opener in Soelden, Sweden in the hope she can build towards top form at the World Championship in Schladming, Austria and repeat the trick for next year’s Olympics.
“Bearing in mind February is always the month of our most important races,” She says “By not racing Soelden I am delaying the start to my year and I’m hopeful for a peak in my results come February.”
She also revealed that she took fresh motivation from the Summer Olympics in her home city. She said: “The whole ‘Inspire a Generation’ idea really applied to me. I was just so proud of how well Team GB did.
I have been to previous Olympics and have been unable to attend Opening and Closing Ceremonies as I have been competing, so it didn’t fit in with my programme.
“But this time I was able to get really involved right from being a torchbearer and the whole thing made me so proud to be a Londoner.”