Chemmy Alcott’s battle to make her fourth Winter Olympics was the toughest of all but she insists with the right conditions she can overcome the odds and leave a mark at Sochi 2014.
It was feared that alpine skier Alcott might miss out on a trip to Russia when she broke her leg while training with the Norwegian team in August – the third time she had suffered the injury in her career.
What followed was a race to prove her fitness, a quest not helped when her scheduled World Cup comeback in Italy last month was postponed just days before the window for selection slammed shut.
Despite the setback, selectors opted to include Alcott, who finished 11th in the downhill at Turin 2006 before repeating the position in the super-combined at Vancouver 2010, in their 56-strong squad.
And she proved she was back on the road to racing form, as with the weather clearing at the Italian resort Cortina d’Ampezzo, she marked her World Cup return by finishing 23rd in Super G.
It was her best World Cup finish in almost four years, and, while refusing to get carried away by setting herself any targets for Sochi, Alcott is determined to make sure she savours the experience.
“I want to be pragmatic about it and know how the hill suits me. I know that I am skiing very fast in sections at the moment but if I can put some consistency in then I could get close to the results I have achieved before,” said Alcott, who officially starts with the downhill.
“After Vancouver I committed everything I had to getting onto this team, obviously for me it was very tight with the decisions. It was the most stressed I had been going into team selection so I think there is so much happiness now that I didn’t really register for the other Olympics.
“For the last Olympics I expected to be in the team so I had my place whereas this time I felt like I was fighting for it so it was massive satisfaction to make the team.”