British World Cup vet Chemmy Alcott expected to fight back from multiple
breaks to compete in fourth Olympic Winter Games BY GEOFF MINTZ
A BRIT’S GRIT
To stay in the game, ski racers in their 30s often have to be more persistent
than their injuries.
Luckily for British ski racer Chemmy Alcott, persistence isn’t a problem.
The 31-year-old has broken her leg three times, part of a reoccurring injury. It all
started in a training crash in Lake Louise in December 2010. She broke two bones
in her right leg, ultimately requiring a titanium plate to hold things together.
The 15-year World Cup veteran skied with the plate last season, knowing full well
her right-footers wouldn’t be terribly strong, but believed she could ski fast enough
to prequalify for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games — and she did.
Another crash in a downhill training run at the World Championships in Schladming resulted in another break in the same leg. Doctors removed the hardware to
allow the leg to heal, which it did, and Alcott was firing on all cylinders during the
summer, skiing fast and pain-free without any metalwork. But on the final run of
the final day of an August training camp, Alcott crashed and broke the leg again,
subsequently receiving a metal nail that runs from her knee to her ankle.
Now, less than a month before the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Alcott is on
the verge of making another return to racing.
“I’m going to wait until I’m fast,” said Alcott. “There’s no hurry for me to start going
into World Cups to come in last … so I just need to take my time.”
Alcott has been following the circuit this season, making appearances in St. Moritz and Val d’Isere, partly because she’s training with the Norwegians, but also for
“We have a very empathetic sport,” said Alcott. “People know the risk. People are
very interested in how you’re feeling after your injury.”
Alcott previously trained with the Canadians, but when Alpine Canada cut funding for the women’s speed program, the London-born racer was forced to make
a switch. She now plays the role of “player-coach” on the relatively young squad
Chemmy Alcott trains
downhill at the World
Schladming before a crash
that ended her season.