A Chat with Chemmy Alcott: Part 2
Hello Powderhounds! We are thrilled to hear how much you enjoyed our Q&A with the legendary Chemmy Alcott. Fear not! We are back with a second helping of equally as lovely chatter with the 4 time Olympian and all round skiing icon. This time, we discuss Chemmy’s inspiring efforts to bring more young women into world of winter sport, as well as her hopes to raise her two sons as mountain lovers. We also discuss Chemmy’s can-not-live-without Powderhound product. Spoiler Alert: She’s a coffee lover!
Having competed in four consecutive Winter Olympic games, what were the best memories?
I think probably my best memory was almost quite a sad memory. It was the (inaudible) Olympics I came in eleventh in the downhill, I had the most spectacular run, I was actually in third place until the last split and then I made a mistake and I ended up coming in eleventh. But I still superseded my expectations and I came through the finish and my whole family were there. It turned out to be the last time my family were there all together because my mum passed away shortly after. So I’ve got these amazing, kind of bittersweet memories of being in kind of my prime and being supported by all those who loved me. It was just an epic, epic day.
You did a great article interview on the gender gap in skiing in the Telegraph (linked at the end) What advice would you give to young women who want to get into skiing professionally?
Well first of all, I didn’t know that they printed that article! I wrote that ages ago and I was really passionate about getting more women into sport. Every winter I try and do a women specific ski experience. I actually do two a year, I do a ladies ski racing camp and then last year I worked with Woman Who Ski to run an experience at St. Anton. So I’m really passionate about that because there’s some crazy stats out there which show, especially new mothers if they don’t get back to skiing in the mountains within five years of their child being born then they sometimes never get back. I am very fortunate to have opportunities in motherhood to be with my passion in the mountains, so I really try to promote that side of it. I think young women getting into skiing professionally - it’s a fantastic sport in terms of putting your heart and soul into something. The amount of athletes around the world in different sports globally that I meet now who resent the sport that they competed at, they did it because they were good at it or because they were making a living not because they loved it. It’s outrageous for me to understand! Because I absolutely live to ski, and all my peers live to ski. So to be an environment with your friends, out there, pushing your limits - it’s amazing. I genuinely believe it’s the best sport in the world.
What is it you love so much about the mountains?
Oh my gosh. I am just sitting in my office in London and I’ve got this wall up of the back side of Mont Blanc. It’s wallpaper which covers the whole wall, I’ve got some 1950s wooden skis on the wall and I’ve got a picture of me the first time I did the jump after I broke my leg, two years after (Lake Louise). It’s just the mountains are in my heart and soul. They are so epic and they make you feel so little but in a really positive way, in a powerful way. When you get out there, and you're dedicating your time to be out there on the mountain and see it in all it’s quietness and it’s eeriness. And you can choose how fast you ski on some empty piste, it’s just absolutely epic.
Will you be sharing your passion with your sons Lockie and Cooper?
100%. Yeah, I mean Lockie hasn’t seen the mountains - and Cooper. We actually did get out there in July and Lockie came up the glacier one day and had a ski. And he’s asking me the whole time, as soon as it gets dark he’s like ‘Ahh! That means winters coming! So are we going to the mountains?’ I just want them to love it. They don’t need to compete, they don’t need to do anything that I want but I just want their lives to be enhanced by being out there in the mountains in nature, and doing sport. I think that’s so important.
What is your favourite Powderhound product?
Oh that’s a tough one. I think it’s my coffee mug because I start every day with it. And I love coffee. And every day I set it out- I’m a bit geeky actually because I wake up really early with the boys and I need my coffee to function, so I get it all ready the night before! I get the coffee machine ready so I just have to press the button into my Powderhound mug! Yeah, the kitchenware is just beautiful, the china! I just think you know, you're sitting there and you're looking into your bowl and you see all the skiers and snowboarders around the outside and it’s just like yes! This is why I am up at 5.30, so that can be me one day.
What is your favourite ski resort and why?
I don’t have a favourite ski resort per se. I don’t think it’s about where you go, I think it’s about who you’re with and how the conditions are. I’ve been to some tiny resorts that have been dumped with powder and I’ve been with skiers who push me and really challenge me to try new things and that's amazing. Equally, I have been to some of the biggest resorts and the snows not been great and I’ve just thought it doesn’t matter where you go! I love the variety of life’s different cultures you get, all throughout Europe from travelling from Austria where you know you are gonna get perfectly green pistes to the cheesy après ski to France and the amazing food to Switzerland with the lovely beds and duvets and bread! I mean I’ve got some weird things I do in every single country but I’m just very fortunate to travel to a lot of them and experience all the different feelings and cultures in the mountains.