Brimming with enthusiasm, Emily Sarsfield’s competitive eagerness for the season ahead is refreshing.
Considering the severity of recent injuries, the smiling 32-year-old seemed altogether undeterred from the challenge of upcoming competitions.
Sarsfield spent last year off her skis after suffering from a serious knee injury and admits it was a healthy break from being ‘a hamster in a hamster wheel’.
“It’s been a rehab year for me. But it was a good time for me to take a little respite away from the competition,” she told Mancunian Matters at a ski event in Manchester.
“I think I’ve come at skiing in a completely different view mentally and I’m ready to take everything on.”
With a checkered past of injuries and controversial selection rebukes, Sarsfield’s Olympic dreams have been on the line at many times throughout her career. But nothing seems to stop this Durham-born ski lover.
“I was almost more motivated to train last week than I was any time leading up to the Olympics. The passion is still there and I still have a drive.”
Sarsfield’s positive perspective on her injury time showed an incredible amount of maturity and sportsmanship.
“I think I needed that time off my skis last year, it was really good mentally for me to take a step back. Now I feel a lot stronger as an athlete and totally ready to go.”
The dangerous nature of ski cross sees competitors going over 100 feet jumps while pushing and blocking opponents in the race to the finish line.
Sarsfield’s daredevil attitude towards the sport is incredible in the face of all her injuries.
“Ski cross is a really extreme sport, you’re always going be nervous at the start line just because of the challenge that you’ve got in front of you. You’re kind of like am I actually going to make it or not.
“You’re always full of fear but that’s what brings adrenaline and that’s what’s exciting about the sport.”
Preparing her helmet and salopettes for the upcoming battles of the season ahead, Sarsfield has pushed herself through a relentless training schedule over the past year. Not to mention the countless injuries.
“I felt so motivated to train, I didn’t even look at the time, I just kept on going.
“It was tough to bounce back. I really struggled through that time because I’m not lucky in the sense to have a team with a coach which is supported by GB which you see with the park and pipe guys.
“So for me I’m kind of a one-man band, I train with the Polish team and stuff like that. So it was tough to not have that support structure around me and have to reach my goal.”
Still in her sights for the future, Sarsfield holds onto her Olympic dreams and is determined to fiercely plough through this year’s competition circuit.
“The Olympics are every little girl’s dream but right now my focus is on step by step getting stronger and getting back to performing and building up.
“Right now I feel stronger as an athlete: obviously I’ve got to transfer it across to the snow.”
Image courtesy of planetskieu via YouTube, with thanks.