Rowlands shortlisted for award after 'best-ever season'
Freestyle Skiing

Rowlands shortlisted for award after 'best-ever season'

18 May 2016 / 11:11

Madi Rowlands was just a toddler when she first donned a pair of skis and went hurtling down the face of a mountain.

While some might have been fearful, Rowlands thrived and that early start in the sport is now paying dividends after she was shortlisted for the Piotr Nurowski prize for best young European athlete – winter edition.

The nomination comes after a stellar year which saw her claim Team GB’s first-ever gold medal on the snow at the Winter Youth Olympic Games.

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That was a gold on the Lillehammer halfpipe and, five days later, she added slopestyle bronze for good measure.

Those medals represented two-fifths of Team GB’s total at the Games and Rowlands added a national halfpipe title to her name two months later in Laax.

But, despite the success, Rowlands admits making the shortlist for the award came as a surprise.

“It is a real honour to be nominated for the award and it’s not something that I really expected at all to be honest,” she said.

“My coach told me he Team GB had put me up for an award but I had no idea what it was or how big it was so when I heard it was a shock.

“I’m not really thinking about winning it or anything like that because it’s just so nice to be recognised for my performances.

“It has been my best season so far of my career and it’s been nice to be able to put in so many consistent performances.”

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After what could prove to be a watershed season for Rowlands, she admits that she has one eye on PyeongChang 2018 and her first Olympic Winter Games.

But for now she is keeping her feet on the snow and making sure she learns her trade from the country’s finest.

“I would love to go to the Olympics one day and the next Winter Games aren’t that far away so I hope I can just keep improving and putting in consistent performances,” she added.

“I’ve wanted to do this professionally since I was probably nine or ten but it wasn’t until a few years later that it occurred to me that I could actually do it.

“I don’t really have one person that I look up to because I know all of the experienced athletes on our team.

“But I do look at people like Katie Summerhayes and what they have achieved and think that those are things I want to do.”