Cheshire reflects on lessons of Sochi as she looks to PyeongChang
Freestyle Skiing

Cheshire reflects on lessons of Sochi as she looks to PyeongChang

29 December 2016 / 11:38
They say sport hurts and Rowan Cheshire’s got the selfies to prove it. 

The halfpipe freestyle skier went viral after a spectacular wipeout in training at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, posting a picture on Twitter from her hospital bed.

Still woozy from concussion, a swollen nose, bloodied lip and assorted bumps, bruises and bandages told their own story.
She still doesn’t remember much about the accident but as she prepares to start a hectic round of qualifying events for the next Games in PyeongChang, the 21-year old is feeling reflective and upbeat.

“I’m certainly not trying to block out Sochi. I learned a lot from it and there are positives to take from it, plus I’m a better skier than I was in 2014,” she said.

“I think when I got there I was so fired up that I pushed it too much, if it hadn’t happened in training, then it would have happened in competition.

“If anything what went on in Sochi has made me more motivated, once I got over the fear. I didn’t really get to prove what I could do, so that makes me more determined.

“There is such a hype, excitement and feeling around being part of the Olympics and I want that experience again. Despite what happened, my memories of Sochi are still positive, the only bit that is missing from my memory is the day of the accident, which is probably a good thing."

rowancheshireGettyImages-464588843Cheshire arrived in Sochi as a genuine medal contender, after after becoming the first British woman to win a World Cup event since Jilly Curry in 1992.

The broken nose soon healed but the after-effects of her crash were more serious and it’s only in recent months she’s felt back to her best again.

“I bruised my brain and everything was just off, my thinking, my reactions times, everything. I just wasn’t right in the head,” she admits.

“I rushed getting back on the snow and I fell again and that set me back even further. I publicly brushed it off but there was lots of anxiety inside and spending time with a psychologist really helped me

“I’m dealing better with emotional stuff now. If you think too much then the outcome starts becoming a bad one, so you need to relax. I think I'll always have that fear of falling but I know I've got the skills."

Cheshire spent the weeks before Christmas training in Colorado before returning home to Stoke for the festive period. But the New Year will see a flurry of competitions, each with valuable Olympic qualifying points up for grabs.

It promises to be intense but Cheshire is trying to stay zen.
“It’s scary how fast four years comes around. I know this qualifying will whizz by in a flash but I've been here before I know what it takes,” she adds 

“I’m trying not to overthink stuff, to get into the zone and go back to basics. I need to be calm and chill out and hopefully everything will then flow. You've got to be mellow and then, results will come."

By James Toney, Sportsbeat

Sportsbeat 2016

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