Meet Cara Brown, British Champion Skier.

We talk to Cara Brown about how it feels to be a ski racer and her hopes for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Cara BrownHi Cara,
Tell us a little about yourself,
I was born in London to two Scottish parents but when I was seven I moved to live in Milan, Italy. I have now been living in Italy for 16 years. I finished school in 2012 and have been a full time athlete ever since. Alongside my skiing I also work as a freelance journalist, blogger and translator.

When did your ski racing career begin?
I got into ski racing because my parents love skiing so we always used to go at the weekends and in our winter holidays. I didn’t like skiing to begin with until I found out how fast you could go! I started going to the odd race camp one or two times a year when I was about 12 and in 2007 I did my first race. Now that I have finished to school I’m lucky enough to be able to train all year round. I’m about to go into my third full time season!

What are the different disciplines in Alpine Skiing?
One of the great things about skiing is that you’re not always doing the same thing. I predominantly train 3 disciplines: Slalom, Giant slalom and Super giant slalom (Super G). If I’m lucky I also manage to get the downhill skis out for a few races! Going from slalom to downhill the turns gradually get bigger and bigger. Slalom radius turns are usually around 10m whilst downhill gates can be 40m apart. Giant slalom is probably my favourite discipline but I also love super G and downhill. I’m not too keen on slalom but still race it!

How much training do you do and is it any fun or just a hard slog?!
I have days where I hate training and I wonder what on earth I am doing. You get up early in the morning and ski until lunchtime and then you’re down the hill and into the gym for a few hours before sharpening your edges and waxing your skis to be ready for the next day. My winter season goes from November to April and my summer one from July to September so it’s pretty full on. Even though the training is tough the enjoyment I get from skiing means it pays off.

What motivates you each season?
The enjoyment that I get from skiing is what motivates me, when you see yourself improving in training and then you manage to get a good result in a race that’s really the feeling that spurs you on. There’s a whole lifestyle around being a ski racer. You get to meet loads of great people all interested in the same things as you, travel the world and when I wake up every morning knowing that I’m off skiing, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What’s the best thing about racing?
The best thing has to be the speed! I get such an adrenaline rush. I love it when I’m skiing and I don’t have to think about anything, I’m completely on my own and all I hear is the wind and my skis in the snow. Some people go on holiday to get away from everything; I throw myself down a hill at 60mph!

And the hardest thing about doing what you do?
My journey in skiing is so up and down. One day you’ll be skiing your best and the next day you might be having the worst day ever! It’s also so intense, you can’t just take a month off, you have to keep training on the hill and in the gym. Also the early mornings… and the cold… and sore feet… and aching legs…

What’s your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest achievement has to be at the British Championships in Meribel last April. I won 12 National titles including the Overall, Overall Female, Overall Junior and Overall under 21. In 2014 I also won the CIT World Championships making CIT World Champion 2014.

And your plans for the future?
I’m looking towards the 2018 Winter Olympics in Seoul. I have a plan of how I’m going to get there, by moving up through European Cup, World cup and events such as World Juniors. By the end of this season I want to have reached a good enough level to consider entering some European Cup races. I’m taking each day as it comes, as long as my body and mind hold out I’ll still be fighting for the gold.