Announcing the end of my athletic career should not be done without a fair amount of thank yous to those who helped along the road to my sporting ambitions. I am writing them in a separate post because thanking all those who believed in me is important, as without their support, I would not have achieved what I did.
To all my equipment sponsors – thanks to your generosity, I could reduce the overall costs of my skiing, lessening the burden of being a self-funded athlete. I took pride in promoting your brands and although I have not necessarily met you all, you were all fantastic at making sure I had what I needed and replacing things quickly if I broke my equipment. Thank you to:
- John at Rossignol France for providing me with skis when I was 13, 14 and 15. Rossignol were one of my first sponsors and what was extra special was that, despite not being French, they still supported me because I was doing so well.
- Jay at Altimus for looking after my feet over the years. Thanks to his footbeds, I was able to sort out my biomechanical alignment which not only benefited skiing but will benefit me long term. Skiers can have really bad feet because they are squished into such a small, tight space but thanks to Jay my feet are in really good condition.
- Kevin at Reusch for my gloves last year. They were brilliant and served me well, keeping my hands warm and protected.
- Lillian at Leki UK and Jo at X-Bionic for my poles, shin pads and amazing base layers! Both brands are such high quality and I cannot thank them enough for their support. Special mention to Lillian who got some new GS poles sent out to me very quickly when I broke my old ones after having a pretty big crash in GS. My old poles took the impact of the fall rather than my body, which I am grateful for!
- PlayerLayer for allowing me to test a few of their products last year.
- Claire at Uvex for replacing my broken lenses and to Uvex in general for sponsoring the British Team. Helmets are vital as they keep one of the most important organs safe! I loved my Uvex helmets because they are comfortable and fit well, but I particularly loved my blue and pink Uvex helmets! Additionally many thanks for the fantastic goggles with a range of high quality protective lenses.
- Biosynergy for whom I have been proud to be an ambassador for quite a few years now! Without your fantastic whey protein, I would have been in a lot more pain after S&C sessions!!
- Sofia at Thule for the roof box and bike rack used for transporting my equipment to and from mainland Europe by road.
To my other sponsors –CAZmark and JCAD with Create a Star; you have both been so supportive to me through your contributions towards my athletic career, especially when I have not received support from those who should have supported me.
To the Club des Sports de Courchevel – Merci beaucoup for the best 8 years of my skiing career! Their programmes were fantastic and they didn’t have to accept me, but they did. I had some brilliant coaches during my time at the Club and we always had so much fun, especially with Zed and Julien, with whom we would chase animal tracks through the woods and jump off the craziest rocks…! Thanks to Lea for being a good competitor and team mate during my pre-FIS racing, we were always pushing each other to be better than the other! Also a special thanks for Michel for showing his support. I was honoured to have been given the opportunity by the Club to represent them and France at the prestigious Jugend Cup 5 times. Not many people get to compete for two different countries during their athletic careers!
To Séb and Laurent – who turned me from an average French skier into one of the best skiers in my age group. Without them, I would not have had the most successful year of my ski racing career, where I was continuously on form and had so much self belief. Without them, I would not have made it to FIS racing. They helped lay the foundations of a skier who had a lot of potential to make it to the top.
To Marc and Jo at Ambition – although it took time, you both got me back to where I needed to be after a rather difficult year prior to me joining your team. Step by step you helped me go from 66 to 51 points in Slalom, 80 to 62 points in GS and from 144 to 70 points in SG! You brought out a pretty decent SG skier I didn’t know I had in me and I thank you for that, I learnt that Super G is actually quite fun! You were both good listeners and really cared about your athletes. Additionally, without the structure of allocated school time within the programme, I would not have managed skiing all season and 4 A-level subjects. The Ambition programme was exactly what I needed that year.
To Aleks and Daniel at Motion – who had so much belief in my potential. I cannot thank you enough for your patience and constructive coaching. I wish I could have delivered the results we all knew I could achieve so that we had something to represent the hard work we had all put into my skiing. We all got on really well and had a good laugh. I will always remember your silly jokes and all the cats we (or should I say I?) made friends with. You were both so supportive, fun and straight to the point when needed.
To Danielle, Mark and Tom at SSP – Danielle, you were the best physio I have ever been treated by and we had a lot of laughs! You always fixed me whenever S&C training had gotten the better of me and helped me come back from my injuries. Mark, thank you for allowing me to train at the SSP for the past 4 years (is it really that long?), showing me continued support and belief in my ability as an athlete. Thanks for being a great TASS mentor and helping me make a come back in 2013. Tom, thanks for being the best S&C coach an athlete could have! You brought out the best in me by giving me a fantastic programme and constantly monitoring my performance – a true sports scientist! You were always there whenever I needed advise, even when I was on the other side of the world! You taught me so much; I’m grateful to have known you and worked with you for 3 years.
To Mrs Phillips, my form tutors and all my teachers at St. Catherine’s – who have been so supportive right from my first year at senior school. The condition was always yes I could ski, but so long as I did well in my exams. I could not have achieved what I did at school and on skis without their support. The school were very flexible, allowing me to plan how I would manage my A-levels and sporting commitments, and change those plans if needed. My teachers were fantastic at making sure I was up to date with work and would invest extra time to make sure I was ready for the exams.
To my friends – well what can I say…you’re the best! You are always there for me and willing to listen to anything I had to say. Supporting me when times were tough and winning with me when I was successful. Those of you who helped me with catch up at school, sending me notes via email or saving worksheets for me, thank you! I hope we remain friends for many years to come, hopefully for the rest of our lives! Love you all.
Last, but very much not the least!
To my parents – my biggest supporters and biggest fans. Without you both I literally would have not achieved anything with skiing. They are the ones who truly made it happen. Thank you to my Dad for being the best logistics manager an athlete could have, for being there at every race when I was younger, for making sure I had everything I needed to be the best skier I could be. Thank you to my Mum for being there when I needed putting back on the right track, for looking after me when I was injured or ill, for being my rock. I love you both very much and truly appreciate absolutely everything you have ever done for me.