Rowan Cheshire is a 19 year old skier from Stoke who took her skiing to the next level as part of the GB winter Olympics team in 2014. She unfortunately suffered a terrifying fall in training and could not compete but is looking forward to the next Olympics in 2018 which she has started to gear up for already!
Rowan began skiing with her family when she was just 11 and was soon taking part in local competitions on dry slopes and snow domes in freestyle skiing. As Rowan continued to compete and ski regularly she began to pick up sponsorship from ski and snowboard brands and it soon became obvious she was one to watch!
The half pipe is where Rowan feels most at home and after winning the Calgary World Cup in December 2013 she found herself being picked to compete for Great Britain in the half pipe at the Sochi winter Olympics in 2014.
We are really lucky to speak to Rowan and fire some of our own questions her way!
How are you Rowan?
I am great thank you, though a bit jet lagged as I have just flown back to America from my Christmas break in the UK.
Where in the world are you now and what have you been doing this last week?
I arrived back in Colorado yesterday for 2 weeks training with the GB team after spending a week at home for Christmas with family and friends. It’s the first time in 3 years I’ve been home for Christmas!
What is your training schedule like this winter?
I’m in the US now until the 14th of January then I go home for a couple of weeks. I then head out to Utah in early February and stay there for a month, then I’m probably going to stay in Europe and train in Switzerland.
Who do you train with?
I train with the GB team and coaches both snowboarders and skiers together. Sometimes we just cruise with our friends and train, other times I like to lap by myself with the coaches at the top of the pipe as that helps me get into my zone.
During winter just how much skiing do you actually do?
I go away in late November or the start of December and then I’m training most of the winter season until March with a few weeks back at home here and there. So I’m away a lot.
How much of that is free time?
When I’m at home its free time but I’ve still got to train in the gym and in the snow domes. So its not like I ever have full time off as we still have to keep on top of our fitness and do any events for sponsors and the team.
What do you do in summer?
I like to go on a summer holiday with my friends and then it’s back to training most of the summer. I head out to Whistler in Canada for a few weeks, and then train in Europe or New Zealand till the end of August
What do you do to keep fit and healthy for the winter ahead?
I really just eat right and stick to my gym program. I’m in the gym 5 times a week, and I just watch my diet, so no junk food!
Any tips for avoiding colds?!
I actually have a cold right now!! All I can say is wrap up warm, get your rest and dose up. Orange juice, lemon and honey are good things to have handy.
So, on to the Olympics! The Olympics are every 4 years so do you have to start 4 years ahead prepping for the Olympics?
Its more like 2-3 years that we start seriously looking towards the Olympics but this first year is more relaxed though we do still train and aim to progress and improve the whole of the 4 years running up to the Olympics.
What do you have to do to qualify?
We have to get 2 top 10s at World Cup level and a certain amount of points and also a top 20 FIS world rank.
When did you know you were heading for the Olympics?
After winning the Calgary World Cup competition in December 2013 I had all the right results and points to qualify for the Olympics so I guessed that I would be going. It was officially announced in mid January 2014!
What was the build up to Sochi like?
It was crazy!! So much buzz around the athletes and so many people wanting interviews. It was definitely a hectic time, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Were you worried about heading to Russia or was it a breeze?
Yes I was nervous. Just the pressure of doing well was scary especially after winning the world cup just before.
There was a lot of controversy about the state of the half pipe, what were your thoughts on it?
The pipe wasn’t the best, it definitely could have been better but there was nothing we could have done so we just had to deal with it. We’ve dealt with bad pipes before so it wasn’t too bad.
What was your planned run?
My run was straight air tail, ally oop mute, 5 safty, flair tail, 900 and then a right 5 or 7 (that sounds complicated ?!!)
You ended up getting injured in practice and we were all really sad for you back home, how did you over come that psychologically, it must have been tough?
Yes it was hard and still is. It’s the fear factor but once you’ve done it once and you know you’re not going to die its fine. It just takes time to build yourself back up. I got back skiing again in June after lots of rest, recovery and rehab.
We were so excited to see you up and about and cheering on the rest of team GB what was the atmosphere like?
It was amazing, there were so many people! It was great just watching every one doing their sport, and the courses were amazing.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I hope to be able to compete in another 2 Olympics and continue competing in skiing. After that I guess I’ll just see where the sport takes me!
Any thank you’s?!
I’d like to say thank you to my parents especially my dad, also the coaches and gym coaches.
Thanks Rowan and good luck this winter from the Freedom Ski Team!
Don’t forget you can come and stay at Freedom Ski and hone your skiing skills on our local mountains, Morzine and Avoriaz in the Portes du Soleil, France. For more information on availability just get in touch and who knows, with some time on the slopes you might be heading for the Olympics in 2018!! Hmmm!