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Last Updated: Monday, 20 February 2006, 22:00 GMT
Alcott gives British a ski lift
By Anna Thompson
BBC Sport at the Winter Olympics

Chemmy Alcott
Alcott has been thrilled with the response to her performance
Britain is waking up to skier Chemmy Alcott's talents.

She may be blond-haired, blue-eyed and extremely photogenic but she is a world-class skier, too.

The back pages of the British newspapers revelled in her 11th place finish in the Olympic downhill, which was the best result by a British female since the 1968 Games in Grenoble, France.

Alcott could not quite match the feat in the super-G but still finished inside the top 20 at San Sicario on Monday.

Her performances and obvious charm have done her public profile no harm and Alcott is revelling in her new-found fame.

Before the 2006 Games she had hooded sweatshirts with her name on made primarily for her family and friends, but she has now been inundated by enquires from new fans.

She told BBC Sport: "I was initially dealing with the hoodies by myself. But it has now got so big - I had more than 200 enquiries after the downhill - my agent has had to take over.

With Shelley winning a medal it's been great and I was so excited to touch my first Olympic medal
Chemmy Alcott
"All the support is great and it was never meant to be a profit-making exercise. Hopefully now I'll be able to give some money to charity, too."

Alcott is rooming in the athletes' village with the other big British female star of the Games, Shelley Rudman, who won the silver medal in the skeleton.

"With Shelley winning a medal it's been great and I was so excited to touch my first Olympic medal," said the 23-year-old.

But with one event still to come in the giant slalom in Sestriere on Friday, Alcott could not join in the celebrations after Rudman's performance - and she did not even stir when her room-mate came back to the room in the early hours.

"I still have to be focused so I've been in bed early and have not even had a chance to go to the disco yet," Alcott said.

Chemmy Alcott
Alcott produced the best British downhill performance since 1968
"I've not taken any photos and I've not really got into the Olympic spirit yet, but it's so difficult when you've still got events to come."

Sadly for Alcott she will not be able to let her hair down even after the giant slalom because she heads off to Norway to compete in a World Cup race. She is trying to secure a place in the top 25 to qualify for the season-ending World Cup finals in Are, Sweden, in March.

"It has been an amazing season and it is now my goal to get to Are to cap it off," she added.




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