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Olympic snowboarder Zoe Gillings
Zoe Gillings
Gillings is the British number one at snowbordercross

Things have been going well for Manx snowboarder Zoe Gillings, she is the British number one and ranked fifth in the world.

Zoe started snowboarding when she was 10-years-old and on a recent visit home she talked us through her preparations for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

"Last season went really well, I had a couple of podiums and I feel I've got a good medal chance at the Olympics."

The Winter Olympics start in Vancouver on the 12 February 2010.

Zoe continued: "If I keep progressing this season I will be in with a shout.

"Last season I managed a podium in early January and then again at the World Cup, which was pretty cool.

'Finished on a high'

"The end of the season was great because I came third in the World Cup finals in Italy, so I finished on a high.

Zoe Gillings
Zoe started snowboarding when she was 10 years-old

Zoe who suffered two bad crashes last season says that it is part of her discipline and you have to accept that accidents are going to happen on the slopes.

"I did have quite a bad fall in the World Cup but the adrenaline kept me going during the competition.

"When you are racing you have massive amounts of adrenaline going through your system, it numbs your body and keeps you going.

"I was feeling quite dizzy and I was thinking about pulling out of the final but I felt good enough to get down the course safely so I went for it and got into third place.

"When the adrenaline stopped I began to feel the injuries and I discovered I had cracked my skull.

"It could take up to six months to heal.

"The next big thing for me is the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010.


"The important thing in the run up is consistency.

"The worst thing I could do is train really, really hard a few weeks before the event.

"I need to keep it steady. At the same time I am preparing more than I ever have before to make sure there are no surprises when I get there.

Zoe Gillings
Zoe competed at the Turin Winter Olympics in 2006

"I am finding out stuff like where I will be staying, how we are going to manoeuvre around on the Mountain, where the parking will be.

"I have to make sure there is nothing seemingly insignificant which is going to cause me any problems once the competition comes around.

"When the adrenaline stopped I began to feel the injuries and I discovered I had cracked my skull.

"It's also important to know how much training you have on the course before the event so you can get used to it. At the Olympics we get three days which is longer than usual.

"I'm really pleased to have so much time to get to know the course. It really helps.

'Massive crowds'

"The Olympics is always different from other competitions. There's a lot more media attention and the crowds are always way bigger at the Olympics.

"The crowds will be absolutely massive. It all comes together to make a more pressured event for everyone involved.

Zoe Gillings
The Vancouver Games will open on the 12 February 2010

"If I am not nervous before a competition then I am worried. Seeing huge crowds at the bottom of the course makes you feel really geared up and excited. I find it really helps.

"Obviously you don't want to fall down in front of a big crowd and as long as I know to expect it, that makes it easier.

"There is a lot of hype about the Olympics. I enjoy that excitement but the training comes first for me. I try not to get too sidetracked because I have to stay focused.

"I have to keep my goal in mind and make sure I am fit and ready for February".

Crash impedes Gillings in opener
13 Sep 09 |  Winter Sports
Gillings wins silver in Argentina
08 Sep 09 |  Winter Sports
Zoe Gillings' snowboard masterclass
14 Apr 08 |  Winter Sports



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