Alsager-born freestyle skier Rowan Cheshire will have the eyes of the world on her as she takes to the slopes to compete in the Winter Olympics on Monday (19th February).
The 22-year-old will be battling for a medal in the halfpipe event four years after her Olympic dream was shattered, as concussion ruled her out of Sochi 2014.
And although Cheshire will be looking to shine on the global stage, it’s closer to home at Stoke Ski Centre where her journey began.
Head freestyle coach at the centre, Row Emery, described Cheshire’s path to competing all over the world. He said: “Since she started skiing she’s done really well on the international scene. She used to ski here and went on her first ski camp when she was maybe 12 or 13.
“She started doing exactly what I did when I first got into freestyle skiing which is doing a freestyle camp for a week over half term.
“She’s gone away, got into halfpipe skiing and is now doing really well on the international scene.
“Hopefully she’ll come home with a medal. We’ve got other competitors from the UK as well like James Woods, Billy Morgan, Jamie Nicholls, Aimee Fuller, Katie Summerhayes, Izzy Atkin, Peter Speight – the list goes on!
“Fingers crossed there’s a good hope of getting some medals in the Winter Olympics.”
Emery was speaking during the weekly freestyle night at the club where they welcome a number of enthusiastic skiers looking to follow in Cheshire’s footsteps.
“We’ve got dry slope facilities like this where the fundamental skills that people learn all year round and then they take it to the mountains,” he continued.
“They’re a little bit more ballsy than snow skiers sometimes because they’re used to falling on the dry slope. They’ve practised the skills over and over again then when it comes to taking to the snow, they’re already set when they get to competing at that level.
“To be at that level, you have to be out all the time competing.”