Just over 6 months since breaking her back in an horrific crash while training in Sweden, Scottish and GB slalom ski ace Charlie Guest is continuing to fast-track her preparations for success on the Europa and World Cup alpine circuit.
While other 21 year-olds may be turning their thoughts to relaxing in summer holiday sunshine, all this week the Perth based member of the British Alpine Ski Team is heading indoors for intensive on snow training at Snow Factor Braehead.
The perfectly groomed slopes, Scotland’s only indoor real snow facility offers Guest, one of Britain’s top slalom skier’s ideal conditions to practice as she prepares for her first international race of the season in New Zealand in early August.
The former Dundee High pupil previously utilised Snow Factor over Christmas, as part of her rehabilitation after sustaining a broken back in an horrific training accident in Sweden last November. Intensive medical support from sports science and medical experts at the sportscotland institute of sport and snow sessions at Snow Factor helped the Perth based racer make a remarkably quick recovery.
Just 3 months after that injury, Guest competed at the World Alpine Ski Championships in Colorado, achieved two top 10 finishes in international (FIS) slalom races and recorded a career best Europa Cup finish of 20th at Monte Pora in Italy. Guest, who in her career to date has already recorded 43 podium finishes is now firmly focused on achieving results on the tough Europa and World Cup circuits.
Explaining why she’s shunned the sun to seek out indoor snow conditions, Guest said: “I’m training hard over the summer to ensure I’m in the best physical shape possible for the season ahead. The conditions at Snow Factor are ideal for me to strip my skills back to the basics, and I can include gate (slalom) training and various exercises to further refine my technique. It also allows me to keep up with all my (dry land) strength sessions whilst making advances on snow. Having such a great facility here (in Scotland) helps us hugely.”
Offering an insight to what it takes to be a successful alpine ski racer, Guest added: “From Scotland, you’re always competing against traditional alpine nations like Austria and France. As an individual sport where mind and body is pushed to the limit, it’s really important to keep sight of your own goals, to stay positive and to always train hard.”
Guest is among a number of top skiers and snowboarders to recently visit Snow Factor. This includes Jenny Jones, the 2014 Winter Olympic slopestyle bronze medallist, Scottish World Cup half-pipe snowboarder Ben Kilner (Banchory) and Gus Kenworthy, the 2014 Winter Olympic slopestyle (ski) silver medallist from the USA.