Four-time Winter Olympian Chemmy Alcott is no stranger to adversity and, having hung up her skis after Sochi 2014, she is hoping to inspire Surrey’s next generation of budding athletes, writes Chris Bailey.
The Surbiton High School ambassador, a former student at the school, called an end to a fine career in March a month after competing in her fourth Winter Olympics in Russia and just six removed from an horrific leg break for the third time.
And now the 32-year-old, who boasts a best Olympic finish of 11th twice from Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010, wants to channel her determination into mentoring children.
“Right now I’m just doing things I’m passionate about, I followed such a strict regime for so long with my career and achieved so many goals, that now is the time to give back,” said Alcott, at this year’s Balfour Beatty London Youth Games.
“I’m doing a lot of mentoring, a lot of pastoral work but I had such a unique career in terms of overcoming adversities – that’s what I want to share.
“Sport is really about overcoming failure, it’s great when we’re on top and we can all handle winning, but it’s when you get knocked off that top spot where youngsters need support.
“I don’t want to restrict myself to coaching, it’s more the psychology that I’m interested in because of what I’ve been through. I think that has a huge impact on people’s performance.”
* The London boroughs and Balfour Beatty invest in the London Youth Games to build stronger communities through competitive sport.