Eurosport - Thu, 22 Jul 13:36:00 2010
Chemmy Alcott is set to go it alone in a bid to boost her chances of winning a medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The 27-year-old cut a frustrated figure at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver after SnowsportGB went into administration a week before the Games began amid revelations she was owed £20,000 by the defunct organisation.
That has left Alcott, Britain’s No. 1 Alpine skier, with a financial black hole to fill, having departed† Vancouver 2010 – where she equalled her best ever Olympic finish of 11th – penniless.
The British Olympic Association manfully stepped into support the 14 British snowsport athletes in Vancouver but that was just a short-term fix – prompting Alcott to rethink her plans.†
She has yet to confirm where she will be based but believes a move away, where she can spend time with the world’s best, will suit her down to the ground ahead of an assault on the podium in Russia.
“I’m not sure where I am going to be next season yet but I won’t be training with the British team,” said Alcott.
“I’ll still race for Britain but I’ll train alongside say the Canadians and use their facilities and everything but I haven’t decided yet which country.†
“But I am trying to confirm the best programme over the next four years because I have committed to another Olympics.†
“Going to another Olympics was kind of always in my plan, I’ll be 31 years old which is kind of the peak for a skier.†
“It’s been quite tough recently because I’m trying to secure sponsors, it’s a really different environment out there especially with what happened with our federation.
“I’ll get on whatever is the best programme for me because there are certain countries that have good ski teams but need a giant slalom skier to help their girls.
“And that’s what I can offer because I have got the speed but I’ve also got the experience in the technical discipline so I’m kind of looking at that and seeing which is the best programme. It’s got to be of benefit to both parties.”
Despite the problems of the last six months Alcott believes her search for a different training environment has given her a new lease of life.
Alcott will be 31 when she makes the trip to Sochi but she insists she will be at her peak for the Russian Games.
And Alcott believes she can top the two 11th place finishes she recorded in the last two Olympics in Turin and Vancouver next time around.
“It’s been a difficult time recently but it made me realise how much I love doing it, the fact that it might be everything coming out of my pocket, as much as I can pay. It makes me realise that I’ll still do it,” added Alcott.
“And I’m not going to be ‘Eddie the Eagle’, I’m not going to go just to go to the Olympics, I’m going to go to be competitive.
“I’ve proved I’ve got what it takes to win and have had some real struggles before that so I really still believe in myself.
“I’ve never thought about quitting, at the last Olympics when all this stuff happened and it was really tough times and I didn’t see how I could continue but I didn’t want to quit. I’m just going to keep skiing.”