Emma Lonsdale openly admits she stumbled into freestyle ski halfpipe but she has vowed not fluff her lines when she makes her Winter Olympic debut.
Lonsdale has been skiing since she was two-years-old but first in alpine for 16 years before a switch to the moguls discipline of freestyle.
Through moguls Lonsdale literally fell into halfpipe but immediately got the feeling that it was for her and at the age of 29 she will make her Olympic debut.
Freestyle ski halfpipe was only introduced onto the Olympic programme for the Sochi Games and Lonsdale insists there will be no messing around.
“I have been skiing my whole life. I started skiing at about two-years-old and I raced up until 16 or 17-years-old,” she said.
“Then I started skiing moguls, competing in that for a while for the English team. And then I stumbled across the halfpipe really.
“I gave it ago. I literally stumbled into it. ‘What is that? Oh, that looks fun’. I gave it a go, really enjoyed it, had that sort of stomach in your mouth feeling about the sport.
“And people have changed their view about us [British skiers] in general. They thought that we were all just messing about.
“Especially now that it’s an Olympic discipline, it’s seen with a lot more respect. People are starting to realise that we are athletes and that we do take it seriously.”
Lonsdale is the last of the British freestyle skiers to compete in Sochi and has had promising performances at the past two World Championships.
She was 11th in 2011 and 15th in 2013 and Lonsdale admits her background in alpine and moguls will give her an advantage in far more relaxed field of athletes.
“Halfpipe is very technical skiing-wise, so coming up through racing is actually a big benefit, rather than being able to do tricks, you have to ski really well to do it,” she added.
“The girl halfpipe skiers are a unique crowd. Everybody is genuinely your friend; they genuinely want you to do well.
“There is no aggressive, horrible competitiveness among the group; if you crash and hurt yourself, they are genuinely concerned.”
© Sportsbeat 2014