Eight-time British Ski Cross Champion and the first ever British female to win a Skiing Europa Event, Emily Sarsfield is the definition of an inspirational woman in her repeated injuries and knockbacks. We’re delighted to feature Emily as our Inspirational Woman of January.

We caught up with Emily in the midst of her training, with less than a month to go before Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics 2018. With so many challenges that have stood against her, we were keen to find out more ahead of her Winter Olympics selection this year. Emily Sarsfield, winter olympics
Emily had a brilliant energy about her. We caught her when she’d just seen her physiotherapist, who had told her, much to Emily’s despair, to take a day off the gym and stretch. You could feel the energy, excitement and determination in the room. I left feeling as though I was going through the selection experience myself, except with far fewer broken bones!

For those new to the sport, ski cross is 4 skiers going head to head in a brutal downhill course consisting of jumps, bumps, rollers and extreme corners. Not for the faint-hearted athlete, but a great spectator sport for those of us with less gumption!

The 35 year old Durham born British Athlete, has after 22 years of competing in the ski industry, finally been able to take her career professional over the last 6 months to become a full-time athlete. This has enabled her to dedicate all of her time to her training and goal of this year’s Winter Olympics.

Ski cross, winter olympics

At the age of 13, Emily was chosen to ski for England, following in her sister’s England Alpine footsteps. She openly discusses the inspiration she took from her sibling and continues to take on a daily basis. As Emily tells us in her video interview, it was only when she decided to retire from Alpine Downhill Skiing that her coach suggested she took a chance on the ski cross slopes! In her debut race, she finished 6th, and has been competing on the FIS ski cross world cup circuit since 2005. That’s 12 years of training and competing to try and make it to the top.

This has not come without its challenges. Emily is one of the only Team GB Athletes to be fully self-funded for the majority of her career. This has meant working as a ski instructor, converting shipping containers into pop-up bars, and cleaning chalets to support her passion. Even since securing sponsorship deals, it is only now that she has been able to compete full-time.

Emily is now the top-ranked British Female in Ski Cross, with 5 top 15 world cup placements under her belt, and a good chance at making the Pyeong Chang Olympics. To qualify for the prestigious event she must stay in the World top 32. At current, she’s standing at number 21 and has 1 race remaining to stay in that essential top ranking. But it’s not quite as simple as that, she must also stay uninjured. In 2010 Emily got extremely close to visiting the Olympics, until she snapped all of the ligaments in her knee, and broke both her femur and tibia during the Vancouver Games test event in 2009. It was only 10 months after this that she broke records by winning the Europa Cup in Val Thorens, becoming the first British Skier ever to win a Ski Cross event. Clearly, Emily rises in the face of adversity.

Join us in keeping our fingers crossed for the next week until she finds out if she’s been selected for this year’s Winter Olympics after a lifetime of training. The selection will be announced on 22 January, prior to the games beginning on 9 February 2018. You can follow Emily’s journey on her Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Share this page:

Tagged with: , , , , ,