09 February 2017

GB Park and Pipe's Izzy Atkin: One Year to Go to PyeongChang 2018 #1YTG

The 9th February 2017 officially marks one year to go until the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang 2018. We're celebrating this exciting milestone with a series of British Ski & Snowboard athlete interviews from across the disciplines, giving you an insight into their pre-Olympic aspirations and plans.

In this interview we speak to GB Park & Pipe freestyle skier, Izzy Atkin, who is based in Park City, Utah and has been freestyle skiing since she was 8 years old. Now at 18, she's one of the youngest members of the team and would love to compete at the Winter Olympics.

Isabel Atkin | Photo Credit: Jenny Bletcher

 

How is this season going? What have been the highs and lows? 

This season has been going well so far, since it is the Olympic qualification period I do feel a bit more pressure than usual to do well. One of the lows of this season was the World Cup in Font-Romeu, France which was very scary because the weather was extremely bad and FIS decided to run the contest anyway. So I had to do a very easy run and competitions are so much more fun when everybody is throwing down and skiing their best. The high of the season so far definitely has to be where I am right now... X Games. It's my first X Games ever and it is such a cool experience, and because I'm an alternate I'm not feeling too much pressure during training which is making it much more fun. 

What are your ambitions for the remainder of the season?

An ambition for this season (and every season) is to stay healthy. It’s an injury-prone sport, and I have lost some parts of past seasons to injuries. It’s something we have to learn to manage in freeskiing. My ambitions for the rest of the season are also to keep working on new tricks and getting results at the Olympic qualification events. 

Tell us about your funding and how people can help support you? 

I am funded by U.K. Sport, my parents, and some from sponsors. People can help by liking my athlete page on Facebook (Isabel Atkin Skiing) and following my instagram (izzyatkin).

Have you started thinking about PyeongChang 2018 yet? 

Competing at the Olympics has always been such a big goal for me. PyeongChang is definitely on the back of my mind since the GB Olympic Qualification year has already started. 

What will you most look forward to if you make it to PyeongChang 2018? 

I will most look forward the whole experience. Representing and competing for GB with my friends is a dream. I will look forward to exploring Korea, which is such a different and interesting place.

What other sport would you most look forward to watching if you make it to PyeongChang 2018? 

Some other winter sports I would watch at the Olympics are ski and snowboard superpipe, speed skating, and figure skating. 

Why should young people consider taking up your sport?

Young people should take up freeskiing because it is a very rewarding sport. Landing new tricks and being in the air is an awesome feeling. It's pretty easy to start, all you need is a pair of skis and a helmet. And since there are so many dry slopes and indoor snow domes in the U.K. you can start anywhere. 

 

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