Read about Zoe's summer which included a wedding and a return to the sport.
Zoe, you recently finished your third Winter Olympic Games representing Team GB in Sochi, Russia, how did that feel and what was your favourite moment?
My favourite moment was when I was flying into Sochi on the first day. Out of the aeroplane window I could see the mountains where all the snow sports were to be held, the Olympic Park down by the coast with three massive ice rinks and in the middle of the Olympic Park a tiny little red dot which was the Olympic flame!
Was Sochi any different to Turin or Vancouver and if so, how?
I felt more comfortable in Sochi as it was my third games I knew what to expect so wasn’t as phased by it all. The snow conditions were similar to Vancouver, as in they didn’t have much! It was foggy on race day which has been the case for all three of my Olympics.
The jumps on the course in Sochi were bigger. There were six competitors in each heat in the snowboard cross in Sochi unlike Vancouver and Turin that only had four.
Also the free McDonalds in the village did serve McFlurrys in Sochi unlike the one in Vancouver (a treat post competition).
What have you been doing over the summer?
I have been keeping fit and doing lots of different sports I haven’t done in a while like surfing, gymnastics and tennis. I even learnt some karate. Plus I got married, it was an awesome event - we held it over three days at a friends grounds in Leeds and had free food and drink every day - with tons and tons of chocolate and cake... Oh, and I changed my name to Zoe Gillings-Brier and went on an awesome honeymoon scuba diving in Thailand.
You are now starting another four year Olympic cycle, how do you stay motivated?
I am having a regeneration season this winter so that will freshen things up a bit - in essence I will only be competing in one or two major competitions in the next 12 months. I didn't like the idea as the last 12 years have seen me compete at pretty much every single World level competition - but thats the reason why - freshen things up and focus training in a different area. An Olympic cycle is a long time but there’s plenty of other things along the way including other competitions and training aims so there’s plenty of challenges and things to prepare for and get excited about.
What does this season hold for you?
This season is a regeneration season so I’m not going to be doing many competitions but concentrating on training. Within my training I’m going to be branching out and doing a lot of freestyle, learning things like spins off jumps to broaden my ability and control when I’m in the air and on landing so that when I get back into competitions if I get knocked or something unexpected happens I am in a better position to handle it.
What are your long term goals?
Right now the only focus on my mind are the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. That's it.
What are you doing right now?
I'm currently training in Mayrhofen, Austria. There isn't much snow at the moment but there is enough to at least find my snow legs. I'll be heading back to the UK in a few days for Christmas then straight back out again in the New Year to hopefully lots of fresh snow.