Ski race sensation Alice Robinson is preparing for her second crack at the Winter Olympic Games and knows she’s capable of a podium finish.
The giant-slalom specialist is currently on the European World Cup circuit, getting some crucial international competition in prior to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games in February.
“I'm feeling pretty good and I'm really excited about another Olympic campaign,” says Robinson.
“These Olympics, I'm quite a different person and athlete to who I was at the last Olympics when I was a 16-year-old rookie. Now I've been in the ski racing environment a bit more and I can play a different position where I can compete for medals and be right in the mix which is super exciting.
“It’s pretty cool to go into the Winter Olympics knowing I have the chance to do something special.”
And it’s no secret that the 20-year-old has what it takes at the top level. In the 2018/19 season she shocked the ski racing world by winning New Zealand's first World Cup medal in 17 years, finishing just 0.30s behind world number one Mikaela Shiffrin at the World Cup Finals giant slalom in Andorra.
Her 2019/20 season also began on a high, with victory at the FIS Alpine World Cup Giant Slalom in Sölden, Austria. Robinson was the youngest person ever to win a World Cup race at Sölden and it was New Zealand's first World Cup win since Claudia Riegler back in 1997.
An amazing legacy for Robinson who began ski racing as an eight-year-old on Queenstown’s Coronet Peak.
“Ski racing is an epic sport. We're out here on the mountains, kind of just propelling our bodies down the hill. It's awesome, I just love racing and love competing.”
Robinson reaches speeds of up to 130-kph in competition. While she appreciates the danger involved, she says it’s best not to dwell on it.
“Sometimes I think the minute you let fear get in there, you're done for, so you've got to take it in your stride and just accept that if something happens, it happens and just absolutely go for it.
“That's my mentality, try not to let any fear get in and just let instinct take over and try go as fast as I can.”
Covid-19 made for a tough last season for Robinson but she’s hoping she’ll be able to use that resilience as she heads towards Beijing.
“Last season I went over to Europe for nine months by myself with no family and no idea when I was going to get back to New Zealand. It was pretty full on, being in that environment away from home with lockdowns and things like that.
“It was really tough mentally but it taught me a lot about resilience and how to get out of a rut and so I’m feeling like I can take any situation life throws at me as we head towards Beijing.”
Robinson will compete in the Winter Olympic Giant Slalom beginning on February 7th.