Interview with pro freestyle skier and UK champion Becky Hammond

The Girl Outdoors loves a good girl sports hero, especially one as fearlessly cool as Becky Hammond, UK freeski champion and part of Team GB. The 25 year old took time out of training halfpipe in Breckenridge, Colorado, to chat about the highlights of her sporting career and what the ski scene is like for aspiring pro girls.

What’s the best competition you’ve ever entered?
Making finals for World Cup Halfpipe, then representing Team GB at the World Championships in Japan. It was such an experience skiing with all the top athletes in the world and everything was shown on live television.

What do you do to keep yourself occupied on a whiteout day?
I like to keep fit and spend a lot of time off the mountain in the gym. Apart from that, I really enjoy cooking and baking.

What’s the worst fall you’ve ever had?
It was catching an edge into the pipe at the European Open. I went head first into the pipe wall in front of all the big name pros. After a bit of concussion, I realised how silly I must have looked.

How important is gear and looking the part for you? What do you think of skiing fashions in general?

Becky has designed her own shoes for sponsor Cushe

It is imperative that clothing is practical, warm, waterproof and protective more so than looking great. That said, I’m sponsored by Animal Clothing and BawBags underwear so I never have to buy shoes and clothes. I especially love the Fireside WP and Wildtrip WP boot from Cushe footwear. Cushe sponsor me so I get lots of free shoes and boots, they go great with skinny jeans and keep your feet warm and dry.

If you couldn’t ski, what would you like to be doing career wise?
I’ve always had a passion for sport and fitness and I wanted to start my own personal training business. I think I would have followed this through, and even will follow it through when I retire from competing.

If you could change one thing about professional skiing, what would it be?
I think it’s a pity that there’s still such a big gap between girls and boys, but the girls have really started to push things in the last few years, which is great.

How could the current female skiing scene improve, then?
The girls really need to be strong doing this sport, so training is really important, and helps prevent injury. You have to have the strength to stick your trick and ski away.

Do you ever encounter rivaly amongst freestyle girls, or is it a friendly environment?
We have loads of girls coming onto the scene now. All the experienced girls make new freestyle girls welcome, so don’t be intimidated girls, get involved!

Do you have any advice for any girls aspiring to go pro?
Having great family support is crucial as you’re often away for long periods of time. And always make sure you’re enjoying yourself when on the hill!

What are your own goals for the next few years?
Definitely training for the Winter Olympics 2014 and I also have the Aspen Open coming up in February, The Brits in March and some FIS Halfpipe competitions soon.

Finally, what’s been the biggest high in your skiing career?

Becky in Japan

I have to say the same as before – making the finals for World Cup Halfpipe, then heading to Japan for World Championships. I had my all time coach, Simon Ashton, who taught me to ski, and my great boyfriend Andy Bennett there to support me, and it was an amazing, crazy experience!

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