« Return to recent news
End of Season Report 2013/2014
July 10th 2014

For the fourth year running I started the ski season in New Zealand where I spent eight weeks training and racing in July/August.  Whilst the training was good, the races did not go to plan and I failed to finish my first seven races, ending up holding-back in my final two races, just to get a finish.

I found it difficult combining A levels with time away in the mountains from October onwards but I was able to keep on top of my fitness programme at home with a personal trainer and I managed to squeeze-in several weeks of ski training in the Pitztal before heading-off to Japan to train and race after Christmas.

I was not under any pressure in my races in Japan because I was not expecting to be picked for Sochi at all.  On the other hand, my sister was feeling the pressure to a huge extent and so I raced well against her in those races and I believe it was the strength of my results against her in Japan that won me the one female spot available to the selectors for Sochi.

After having been selected, the press would literally not leave me alone until I left for Russia!  There was the announcement of the Irish team to the press in Dublin and then TV, radio, magazine and newspaper interviews in the UK and Ireland.  Central TV (the local ITV station where I live near Birmingham) even had me ski down the indoor slope at the Tamworth Snowdome, where my ski racing career began.

I was the only female competing for Ireland at the Olympics and I spent almost a month in Sochi training and racing.  Although I didn’t finish either the GS or the Slalom, the BBC commentator during my first Slalom run, which was shown live in the UK, said I showed “real promise” and that I was “really attacking the course”. 

 I gained fantastic experience and will be much better prepared for the prospect of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.  It really was an amazing, life-changing experience.

After the Olympics it was back to normality and school (although some of the teachers and my school friends were now treating me as a bit of a celebrity!).  I spent all of March and a lot of April catching up on important work for my AS and A levels before ending the season with four Slalom races in Japan, where I went with my sister.  I managed to lower my Slalom points from 73.38 to 70.18.  I have also ended the season, again, as the number one GS racer in Ireland.

During the past season I trained and competed in New Zealand, Austria, Japan and Russia – I achieved 5 top 15 finishes.

To round off the season I won the Sports “Outstanding Achievement Award” at my school, King Edward VI Handsworth.  School was proud to have the only athlete from the British Isles, still at school, competing at the Winter Olympics.  I am the school’s first and, so far, only Olympian!

It has been a season made remarkable by my selection for Sochi.  Competing at the Olympics was a very proud moment for me and for my family.  It will be something to cherish for the rest of my life.