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Graham Bell - 60 Second interview for SnowVole.com

Graham Bell, 5 time Winter Olympian and accomplished sports commentator is currently preparing to go to the slopes of the Austrian resort of Kuhtai where he will be working for the Daily Mail Ski & Snowboard magazines ski test team. We caught with him before he left, when he gave us this EXCLUSIVE 60 second interview.

 

When you are on the slopes did you know you are never less than 5 metres from a Snow Vole?

Oh yes very familiar with the Chionomys nivalis to use it's scientific name!

 

Okay let’s get serious… At the 1992 Albertville Olympics, the Downhill was on the Infamous “FACE de Bellevarde” where many of the top racers complained the middle section was too dangerous. What was going through your mind as you stood in the starting gate.

You had to pick the FACE, of the five Olympic downhills I raced, this was the course that I enjoyed the least. The problem was not the gradient, but that the course was set so turny or order to make it through the very tight Ancolie passage. As with most tough races, in the start gate I had a mixture of, focus and aggression.

 

How does the adrenalin rush compare nowadays when you are in front of the Ski Sunday camera on race weekends?

I still get a buzz from skiing the course with a camera before the race starts, because even with without a race suit, I can get going quite fast in spots, but I've been presenting and reporting now for long enough not to get nervous before doing my job. Sure I get excited by the race, but if I didn't I would not be much of a commentator.

 

Since giving up on competitive skiing, how much time do you get to spend on the slopes and what’s your ideal day of skiing?

This season I started with a 3 week coaching camp for guys looking to pass their Instructor speed test, out in Cervinia with Interski in November, and I'll finish with a mate's 40th birthday party at the Follie Douce closing in Val. When I'm not working on Ski Sunday, then I'm either coaching, hosting press trips, doing various corporate or charity trips, or just going out for my own enjoyment.

 

We have certainly seen a lot of talent on the World Cup circuit this year, such as Marcel Hirscher… but what British skiers should we look out for in the next couple of years during the build-up to Sochi 2014?

Yes Hirscher has been very special in the technical disciplines, but there have been some new guys break through in the speed events as well: Beat Feuz of Switzerland and Canadian Ben Thomsen. On the British side, we've got Dave Riding skiing well at Europa Cup level in Slalom, where world ranking is so important for your starting postition, and TJ Baldwin who's starting to pick up a bit of World Cup experience in the speed events. There's a couple of young 17/18 year olds in Jack Gower and Nick Moynihan coming good as well. Also we will have to see how Chemmy's comeback goes next season.

 

If anyone out there is looking to get into racing what’s the best way to go about it?

Join a club and get out to the British Championships to see how you get on. There are also a couple of ski racing schools in the Alps now where you can take your school work out and ski from a couple of weeks to the whole season.

 

You have been working as a commentator for the BBC for a number of years now, will you be doing any coverage for the 2012 Olympics?

I'll be reporting on the Triathlon, and commentating on the Fencing. The Fencing is new to me, but I have a very good expert next to me, who I know will keep me out of the bloopers clips.

 

Thinking back to the High Altitude programme which of the extreme activities did you most enjoy being involved with?

Ice Climbing a 120' cliff at the bottom of a glacier out of inflatable canoes was perhaps the most challenging challenge we took on. Speed Skiing at 120mph was probably the most fun.

 

If there was any person you could ski with for a day who would it be and why?

If you could bring him back then Shane McConkey, but in his absence then Daron Rahlves has pretty much done everything I would liked to have done, and done it rather well. Kitzbuhel winner, Alaskan Big Mountain Skier, and XGames winner at SkierX, to make matters worse he's also a really nice guy.

 

And finally after Chemmy Alcott’s success on Dancing On Ice this year is there a chance we will see you on skates or the Strictly dance floor next year?

Real Life Celebrity Death Match! Count me in for that one.

VinceTheSnowVole · 2184 days ago
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VinceTheSnowVole
It's all about the Snow
27.02.2012 (2184 days ago)
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Graham Bell - 60 Second interview for SnowVole.com