Skier Anna off to Colorado in bid to win GB Olympics spot

SHE is definitely going up in the world – but it’s how she comes down that matters most to Anna Vincenti.

The teenage skier is one of Scotland’s brightest hopes for the 2014 Winter Olympics and has now swapped the streets of Edinburgh for the slopes of Colorado in a bid to secure a spot on the GB ski team.

The 17-year-old, who is aiming to compete in the halfpipe freestyle skiing event in the Russian city of Sochi, has 12 months to earn her place.

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Six weeks of intensive tuition will give Anna, who lives in Colinton, the chance to impress head coach Pat Sharples and break into the world freestyle circuit.

The sixth-year pupil at George Watson’s College said: “Skiing is my life, I just love it. I want to be training really hard and get the results I need to hopefully win a place on the GB team. Proving Scots are good at sport is really important to me.

“I’m really excited about going to Colorado, I have never been before so it will be a new experience.

“I can’t really describe what it would mean to me if I got a place in the team – I would be lost for words.”

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Anna receives no financial support from the British 
Olympic Association or the British Ski and Snowboarding Association for her training and has had to find sponsors.

Along with her mum, Christine, she has been contacting local businesses for help, with property marketing service ESPC stepping in to pay for her travel expenses and ski passes for the trip.

Edinburgh-based Rathbone Investment Management has offered to help with future training camps.

Christine, a mother-of-three, said: “We are so grateful to ESPC for their support as it makes Anna’s trip possible. The six weeks in Colorado will be an unbelievable boost to her career, as she can begin to ski and train with some of the world’s best freestylers.

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“She is training so hard at the moment and is so focused that it is going to be such an amazing opportunity for her.”

Anna left Edinburgh for the Colorado town of Breckenridge on Saturday and will be away for Christmas and New Year.

Mr Sharples said: “Anna is one of my top up-and-coming halfpipe athletes. She has a huge amount of talent and has a good work ethic, and is not afraid to go for it 101 per cent.”

Anna is a sporting all-rounder, having finished second in the Edinburgh Schools Championship in shot putt around two years ago, and previously lined up in goals for the Scotland under-15 and under-17 football teams, and Hibs Girls.

Malcolm Cannon, chief executive of ESPC, said: “Anna is a very determined and talented young skier and we are delighted to play our part in helping her achieve her goals.”