With fourth and fifth place World Cup finishes already to her name this season, Aimee Fuller is just one of a raft of talented British riders heading to next week’s World Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Championships, in Spain, with dreams of glory.
The talented troop of daredevils have amassed five podium spots in World Cup events just this season – with Katie Ormerod making history by winning the big air event in Moscow, in December.
And for Fuller, taking on the world as part of a successful team, not just a rogue individual ploughing their own furrow, makes their success all the sweeter.
“To be honest I’m pretty buzzing,” exclaimed the 25-year-old.
“It’s actually insane, coming from the backgrounds that we all come from, a lot of people from dry slopes, and to see how far we’ve come as a team, is ridiculous.
“The slopestyle snowboard team is a testament to the fact that it does not matter where you come from – each and every single rider on the team is so strong in their own unique way, everyone contributes something to make us such a strong team.
“We now turn up to comps and it’s not ‘haha the Brits are here’, it’s ‘oh, the Brits are here’ and we’re considered one of the strong nations now, which is crazy to think.
“At the Seiser Alm World Cup in Italy I think we were the strongest nation in the finals across the board.
“Three of the boys were in their final, and I was in the women’s final, so in general, looking at the list, there were more Brits than any other nation, which is amazing to see.”
Fuller finished fifth in that slopestyle showdown in Italy, in Januray, one of two fifth place finishes in World Cup events already in 2017.
She backed it up the following month with fifth at Mammoth Mountain Resort, in America, having begun her season in Milan with a career-best fourth place in the big air.
Fuller currently sits 14th in the overall women’s freestyle snowboard World Cup, while she is tenth in both the slopestyle and big air sections, with fellow Brit Ormerod faring even better with second in the big air and fourth in the overall leaderboards.
While on the men’s side a big air podium for Billy Morgan in Monchengladbach, a second place finish for Jamie Nicholls at the Seiser Alm slopestyle and an X Games big air win for skier James Woods illustrate that the Great Britain Park & Pipe squad can certainly perform on the big occasion.
Fuller herself has competed in just one World Championships, finishing seventh in the slopestyle on debut in Kreischberg, Austria, two years ago.
But she is refusing to set expectations ahead of next week’s events in Sierra Nevada, instead just going with the flow and being thankful for the addition of the big air into next year’s Olympic Winter Games, giving her an extra shot at glory.
“I’m really looking forward to the World Champs. Last time I was in Sierra Nevada it got cancelled because of bad weather, so I’m just going into it with an open mind,” she added.
“I’m so happy with how I’ve done so far, and I just want to stay on this roll and keep my riding as strong as possible, and what will be, will be, but I’d like to aim for another finals, and a top five or six result would be fantastic to get in a World Championship type of event.
“But all these events are World Cups, everyone’s in them, it’s the same crew. It’s like a giant circus of people travelling around to each event.
“So it’s just another event in which we meet again.”
The World Championships begin in Sierra Nevada on Tuesday, March 7, and run until Sunday, March 19.
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Pictures courtesy of Sam Mellish