PLUNGED into the national spotlight following her selection for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, freestyle skier Emma Lonsdale is now looking ahead after an uncharacteristic week.
Lonsdale’s inclusion in the Team GB Olympic freestyle skiing squad was confirmed just over a week ago, with the 29-year-old set to compete in ski halfpipe alongside Rowan Cheshire, James Machon and Murray Buchan.
But with the furore of the last seven days dying down, Lonsdale can now concentrate on final preparations ahead of her Russian departure next week.
“The stereotypical view of thinking you are going to wake up at any point and it’s all been a really mean joke carried on all the way through the last week,” she said.
“I have done lots of media work and on Thursday Team GB all went to Manchester for the kitting out and were given three massive bags of Team GB equipment with all the Olympic rings on.
“We also talked to some mainstream media as well although I didn’t really pay too much attention and was a bit of a deer in the headlights to be honest.
“I now have one more shift at work before finally flying to Moscow during the middle of next week ahead of the opening ceremony and two weeks training.
“There will be a chance to see other events and generally embrace all things Olympics before competing on February 20 – we’re quite late in the schedule.”
The Settle-born athlete spent 16 years competing in alpine skiing before switching to her current discipline, with the halfpipe category making an Olympic debut at Sochi.
And while the Lonsdale retains the same competitive edge which has brought her nine British female halfpipe crowns and European Open and World Cup success, there appears off-snow unity.
“Our sport is quite unique as we are all really close friends, especially the girls, and that’s across nationalities too,” she added.
“Largely because we have come up together and it is a fairly new sport there is not much nasty competitiveness, everyone is really supportive of each other.
“And there is always genuine concern if you crash. There is really good camaraderie among us which makes competing easier.
“We’re all really close in our GB Team and the halfpipe and slopestyle ski and snowboard teams too, as we travel everywhere together where appropriate and live together as well.”
For the last two years during Olympic qualification, Lonsdale has spent the majority of her time in Colorado, prior to which see trained in California.
And with selection for Olympic squads no easy business, Lonsdale gives an insight into a daily routine which has propelled her into the limelight.
“I have done most of my training in Colorado where I ski most days of the week, usually from 9am to 1pm,” she said.
“We keep this schedule unless there is bad weather or you crash when you might get a rest day. Then after going home for some food we can do one of a few things.
“There is the chance to hit some indoor trampolines or ramps and do some gymnastics work or go to the gym which involves mainly biking to release any rubbish in your muscles.
“Then there is strength work which is squats and core and then lots and lots of stretching and yoga as a means of injury prevention, which is equally as important as being strong really.”