Aimee, the PyeongChang Winter Games were last year and we have three years until Beijing 2022, so what does a Winter Olympian do in between Games?
So, about a year to a year-and-a-half before each Olympic Games you compete on the FIS World Cup tour in attempt to qualify for the Olympics. This tour consists of around 12 competitions. Prior to PyeongChang I competed in about eight or nine events, which was enough for me to finish fifth in Slopestyle and third in Big Air, and that secured my qualification. That’s pretty much perfect prep.
How do you reflect on last year’s Winter Olympics; you do all that preparation and then face mega windy conditions…
It was a real shame. They ran us in the worst ever possible conditions known to man! It was pretty dangerous and there was a lot of politics around whether or not it should have been run. It was pot luck whether or not you were going to be affected by the wind. It’s not the way I imagined the event going, but that’s what can happen at the top level of any sport. It’s about keeping your head held high and rising for the next event.
What’s your favourite trick to perform?
My favourite trick to perform has to be a backflip purely because it’s not scary for me anymore, it used to be, and it feels amazing. It’s the trick I always dreamed of doing when I was younger, so to be able to do it now feels awesome. It’s such an amazing feeling of freedom when you’re pulling it off because there’s no fear.
Which snowboarders or athletes do you look up to?
My peers. I have a lot of respect for people who push the boundaries in my sport. Anna Gasser is a great example; she’s a phenomenal athlete and her approach is amazing, like no one else. She got it going on!
What do you want to achieve in snowboarding?
The ultimate goal was to be the first person to double in a contest, and I did that in the X Games in 2013. Now, my goal is to be able to keep my snowboarding going for as long as possible by keeping my mind and body healthy. I’ve got two Olympic Games under my belt and I’ve already surpassed what I thought a girl from Kent using dry slopes could achieve!
Where’s your favourite place to go snowboarding?
Absolut Park, Flachauwinkl, and in the UK The Snow Centre at Hemel Hempstead.
You’ve spent most of your life snowboarding or doing motorcross… what is it you love about high-octane sports specifically?
I love speed! That has to be part of the addiction. I used to love going fast and trying to find the lines and transitions in motorcross, which then of course transitioned into snowboarding and, in particular, finding the right transition with the right landing. When I discovered that you could also do tricks… that attracted me to snowboarding. I like pushing my body into different shapes and going hard.
You obviously require high levels of fitness for snowboarding, but what about motorcross? Were you into health and fitness growing up?
Growing up, I could say I wasn’t into health and fitness so much, but it was just about being active. And because I was always moving, I guess that’s what kept me fit and healthy and gave me a good grounding for snowboarding. I did motorcross between the ages of eight and 12, and again from 14-16. I was snowboarding from 12, but also doing basketball, gymnastics, lacrosse, rollerblading… you name it, I played it. I spent most of my childhood dripping in sweat doing some form of sport!
You’ve done loads of other things, like cycling a leg of the Giro D’Italia… is there anything else you’d like to tackle?
I’m doing the London Marathon this year with Tag Heuer for Cancer Research UK. Coming from a sport that requires explosive strength and fast-twitch fibres, I’m having to completely transform my training until the marathon. I have been working with biomechanics specialist Anthony Fletcher at Equinox, London. It’s different, and I am enjoying the fresh perspective on learning new techniques.
How intense is your training when you’re gearing up for a snowboarding event? Give us an example of a typical day?
A typical day would involve being on snow. I’d have a big breakfast to start, then maybe ride from 9am-1pm. That’ll be a pretty intense session, so I’ll be hammering out as many tricks as I can, then focusing on perhaps one major trick that I want to learn or execute. We’ll then come back down for lunch, maybe do some yoga and stretching. You might then focus on your strength in the afternoon in the gym. Generally speaking, it’s about keeping your body as fresh as possible for that snowboarding morning session.
You do a lot of HIIT training, but also yoga. Give us an idea of the range of training regimes you follow…
I do a real mixture! I do one cardio session a week to build a base for my recovery. When I’m in the gym I do a lot of explosive movements, developing my power and strength but also focusing on my mobility, agility and stability. Yoga is my time to chill out and focus on my weaknesses; it’s my prehab tool to sort any niggles. I prefer yoga to boring gym rehab. I like to work on my flexibility, which obviously helps my snowboarding. Everything I do is intense, so I use my yoga time to chill.
What’s the one must-do exercise for anyone looking to prepare for the slopes?
I would say glute activation and stabilising through your core. If your glutes and core are firing, they’re your protector muscles to help you take any knocks.
Give us an idea what a typical day’s nutrition looks like when training?
I’d have a big breakfast, C Press Super porridge is my go to. On the slopes, I always have a Barebells bar in my pocket to keep my energy up throughout the day, and I hydrate with Coco Fuzion Coconut water; its higher potassium content [than water] is essential for my performance.
Aimee’s Top 10 Tracks
All i do is win –
DJ Khaled (feat T-Pain, Ludacris)
Goin’ crazy –
Dizzee Rascal, Robbie Williams
Echo Hotel –
How deep is your love –
Calvin Harris, Disciples
Ooh La La –
How’s your body –
Man with the red face –
Mark Knight, Funkagenda
Music is my life ‑
Tell me why –