Neither injury nor poor form has slowed Sofia Iglina down this season – instead, and most frustratingly for the teenager, it’s been her skis.
The Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships field got even stronger in the presence of Dave Ryding on Friday, as the two-time Olympian took to Tignes’ slopes for the Slalom.
And for Stockport’s Iglina it was another chance to finally get her season back on track after being plagued by a simple problem for which there was no easy fix.
In much the same way a footballer can’t function without his boots, Iglina has spent most of this season struggling without the correct skis – and as such has lost valuable race time.
Understandably her two National Championships run this week – in the slalom and giant slalom – have not gone to plan after failing to finish in both.
However, Iglina is confident that a turn of fortune is just around the corner with the National Junior Championships lying in wait over the weekend.
“Last year at the British Championships I had really good results and this year I’ve had really bad problems with my skis,” said the 17-year-old.
“I only changed my skis 20 days ago and since then I’ve started scoring again, and I’ve been trying to recuperate what I’ve lost during the season which I can hopefully still make progress in.
“I haven’t really raced against the girls who are doing really well here, Cara (Brown) and Darcie (Mead) this season – I don’t know if I’m better or worse because I’ve not been racing.
“My skis had been completely wrong this season, they wouldn’t turn and I gave them back. Then the same thing happened again and I went to the Youth Olympics with a pair of skis that weren’t mine.
“I’ve tried the ones for next year already and they seem pretty nice. I just need to try another supplier before next season as I can’t make the same mistake again.”
Following the success of the Great Britain team at Sochi 2014 and with the support of Snowsport England’s national participation campaign GO SKI GO BOARD, it has been a tremendous year for British winter sports.
GO SKI GO BOARD started in September 2013 and more than 40,000 new people had taken at least one taster or coaching session through the campaign by the end of last year.
And despite her failed runs so far, Iglina believes there were shoots of progress during both.
“On Thursday I was skiing alright and I was really happy with my ran up until where I got, but then I went on the wrong line,” added Iglina, who finished second in both the British Junior GS and Slalom races last year.
“In the Slalom I’ve going really well down the pitch and then I straddled, so I came out because there was just no point continuing.
“I’m a bit annoyed because I was doing well with my slalom skills and I was hoping to get a good result.”
As Principal Sponsor of British Ski and Snowboard, Delancey is proud to be able to provide British Athletes with the support and training they require to continue to be a real force in winter sports on a world stage. Follow @teambss or visit www.teambss.org.uk and www.delancey.com
Main image courtesy of Jerome Bon via Flickr, with thanks.