Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress

Molly sets her sights on Beijing

20 January 2017

Year 11 student Molly has her sights set firmly on competing at the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games 2022. An avid skier since the age of six, over the past few years Molly has been busy combining her studies with international competition in a bid to achieve her dream. Here, she shares with us news of her 2016/17 ski season to date:

“The ski racing season of 2016/17 is well underway, as are my results from the races I have entered. Ski racing is certainly a roller coaster of a journey - there are great days on the hill training and racing mixed on the not-so-brilliant days. Some days my skis work exactly as I want them to see me ‘fly down the course’ as if they were as light and agile as feathers; some days they don’t. It’s part of the game, part of what makes it 80% mental, 20% physical.

“After two successful races in Landgraaf, Holland in November in a massive snow dome type place to kickstart my second season of international racing, I came 8th and 12th in a particularly strong field of athletes, some being previous Paralympians (a title I would like to have in five years’ time). My season then continued here, back in the UK, until early December when I was due to compete in my very first Giant Slalom (GS) race and another slalom out in Pitztal, Austria. Unfortunately, neither went quite to plan but to appreciate the good days you have to have some not-so-brilliant days. I am loving the GS skis as they are longer and I can go much faster on them. Eventually, I hope to excel most in the Downhill discipline, this is the discipline in which there are few turns, with some jumps, but essentially you just go for it! 

“Anyway, the new year came with another few races to follow, in Rinn, Austria. This would be my first ever night race and one where I chose to be the least sensible in the sense of layers: it was -22 degrees and I was in one base layer, a back protector and one lycra suit beneath the usual ski clobber of boots and a helmet. I came in 6th, just behind my teammate, and two behind my target skier. The next day was going so well - I thought I skied the run really well - only to be told I had been disqualified as I had missed a gate; I had even beaten my teammate who skis in the same category as me (the friendly competition is something I am enjoying).

“News of the disqualification, after the initial feeling of being disappointed, has only made me more determined to get back into training and show them what I’m made of at the British Championships at the start of April which will end my season. I am going in confident, as I am currently the British Ladies Standing Champion, a title I hope to extend to Giant Slalom this season.”

If you would like to follow Molly’s journey to Beijing 2022 and to keep up-to-date with her activities, please visit her blog https://mollygriffithskier.wordpress.com/

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