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60 Secs with Pam Thorburn


Pam Thorburn has skied since the age of 3. She's recently switched to Skier X after 9 years in the British Alpine team, and after only competing in 3 Skier-X competitions, she won the British Skier-X Championships in March 2012 in Switzerland. managed to grab 60 secs out of her busy training programme for an exclusive!


1) You have raced around the world but have you ever noticed the furry mountain wildlife that could be my family members?

I have! You sneaky little guys are everywhere. I have definitely seen the most wildlife in Canada. A moose ran across our World Cup race course before causing the whole race to be delayed.


2) Can you describe the thoughts going through your head as you had that awful accident that caused the the ligaments in your knee to tear?

To be honest everything goes so fast it's hard to think anything other than... UHO! As soon as I crashed I was concentrating on the fall, making sure the edges of my skis didn't catch and keeping my body very relaxed. Unfortunately going at 70 mph my 215cm skis caught in the snow and twisted my knee around. I heard and felt the tear straight away.


3) Can you tell us how it felt and what it means to you to get back on skis this year?

My latest injury was shoulder surgery due to so many dislocations. I have had 10 surgeries to date so getting back on skis after this last one felt amazing. You don't realise how good you had things, until you are lying in a hospital bed!


4) Which is your favourite ski resort and why?

I have to say I love Saalbach in Austria, it has so much variety and I have had some epic powder days there, but my favourite has to be Lake Louise in Canada. Canada is definitely a special place for me.


5) What were your reasons behind changing discipline to Skier X?

I had always been intrigued about ski cross so when I was off skis and rehabing this last time, I decided I wanted to change. It's everything I love about skiing and I wanted to get involved.


6) Just describe Skier X for those who don’t know it? And what attracts you to it?

Think of moto cross on skis! Basically there are 4 skiers going head to head battling it out against each other down an icy, bumpy course over huge kicker jumps. The top 2 progress to the next round all the way to the final where you are placed 1-4. I love how exhilarating it is, always something going on, either blocking people passing you or trying to slip stream and pass others. SO MUCH FUN!


7) You learnt to ski at a very young age in Schladming – do you remember much about your first experience skiing?

I remember falling over a lot and crying for my dad to pick me up, I guess he got bored because he ended up just skiing off and leaving me alone... making me get myself up. I never cried about that again, and always got up really quick so I wasn't left behind!


8) Who has been the biggest inspiration in your career to date and why?

I have to say Alain Baxter was a huge inspiration to me, what he achieved and how he did it will always spur me on to be better. He really made the rest of the world see- damn the Brits can ski!


9) I am guessing that missing out on the Olympics in 2010 was your biggest career disappointment to date. But what do you feel is your biggest achievement to date and why?

It really was a tough time. I actually made the qualification for the 2010 Olympics but unfortunately that wasn't enough. I remember the first time I scored Europa Cup points (top 30), I had the last start bib and was the last person on course. It was an awesome feeling ripping right into the top 30 when no one was expecting it. That was the moment the other nations turned round and said- hey who is this kid?


10)   What are your ambitions for this coming season?

This will be my first year training and racing a full Ski Cross season. I still have so much to learn about the sport, I am so excited to get to New Zealand in August to get started with my new private coach.

VinceTheSnowVole · 2093 days ago
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60 Secs with Pam Thorburn