As with any sport, there is only so long you can compete for, whether heavy-impact sports or not. From Tennis to Skiing, there is certainly a peak age which people pass and their body can no longer maintain the fitness and strength needed to compete alongside the best in the world. This race against time is particularly prevalent in the ski industry as it’s such a physical sport and such high-intensity. Following this, there are few people who manage to continue in the industry and continue to make a career out of it, but being dubbed as ‘Britain’s Greatest Ever Female Skier’ has certainly helped Chemmy Alcott to continue with a career in the sport she’s passionate about. But it’s by no means just because of her outstanding ski career, it has taken determination and hard work which it is clear Chemmy puts in on a daily basis. We were lucky enough to host Chemmy in Chalet Lhotse a few years ago, and so we’re delighted to feature her as December’s Inspirational Woman in Sport, ahead of International Women’s Day 2018.

Chemmy Alcott
Now a representative of the ski industry in the TV and media world, Chemmy started her career at the unbelievably young age of 18months old on a family holiday and first raced at the age of 3. Clearly a talented athlete from a young age, Chemmy represented local teams in skiing and dry slope skiing but also played Tennis in the London Youth Games! Chemmy clearly had a natural predisposition to the sport but also to working extremely hard and being active.
Her achievements were certainly not without challenge or broken bones, all 49 of them, including breaking her neck when she was just 11 years old. It takes an extremely strong child to come back from an injury such as that and then continue to compete in the Winter Olympics no less than 4 times. Chemmy eventually reached a World Ranking of number 8, and was 7 times British National Overall Champion, competing in all 5 ski racing disciplines; downhill, super G, giant slalom and combined, and is the only British female skier to ever win a run in a World Cup.

When Chemmy started racing, it was very unusual for British Athletes to compete in the Winter Olympics, let alone a woman. Her success and achievements arguably paved the way for British Athletes in the Ski industry, and also for Winter Sports. Winter sports are still fighting to achieve funding, however, this year vast progress has been gained in terms of securing places and training funding for The Winter Olympics. Chemmy’s work in the industry made fighting for sponsorship and funding a realistic goal.
Chemmy’s hard work was by no means taken for granted, and she did not overlook the profound impact her career had in the Winter sporting industry, particularly for women. Having retired in 2014 following the Sochi Olympics, Chemmy created the X-Elle Scheme, which aims to nurture and develop the confidence of girls all over the world through sport.
A well-known name and face in the media, she now presents for Ski Sunday and commentates the World Cup Ski Series for Eurosport. If that’s not enough, Chemmy still competes in physically challenging competitions and events, including ‘The World’s Toughest Ski Race’ in Greenland, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and even competing on TV’s favourite, Dancing on Ice. Not to mention perhaps the greatest challenge of all, becoming a Mum.

Since having her baby boy last year, she was announced as the Honorary President of the Ski Club of Great Britain, and will be working with the BBC on the coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics!

Whilst adversity and injury reared its unwelcome head many times during Chemmy’s career and childhood, she has had an admirable lifetime of achievements through sport. What is particularly refreshing is her humility, her continual pushing, and her awareness of the work needed to succeed in the sporting industry. Her dedication to helping underprivileged and young athletes, which has branched into using sport for education in third world countries is more than commendable. We look forward to seeing Chemmy on our screens every week on Ski Sunday and supporting the fight for the 2018 Winter Olympics.


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