Alpine skiing-Briton Alcott heading for her fourth Olympic Games

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 22, 2014 4:54 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - British Alpine skier Chemmy Alcott has won the battle to compete at her fourth Winter Olympics despite re-breaking a leg last August and being unable to prove her fitness before the selection deadline.

The 31-year-old was named on Wednesday in a 56-strong Team GB squad, Britain's biggest since 1988, for next month's Games in Sochi.

Alcott, who came 11th in the 2010 Vancouver super-combined and in the 2006 Turin downhill, had faced an anxious wait after returning to full-time training only in November.

She had been due to make her World Cup comeback in Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy at the weekend, her last chance to demonstrate a return to race fitness, but the downhill was canceled due to heavy snowfall.

The London-born skier has battled back from career-threatening leg breaks, including one in Canada in 2010 that left a bone sticking out of her skin. She has also had to contend with a loss of official funding.

"Being able to compete in my fourth Olympic Games is no less meaningful for me than competing in my first in Salt Lake City in 2002," she said on her Facebook page.

"Since Vancouver I have done everything I could have done to be in Russia. Preparations were far from ideal but with my self belief and confidence and the support I have from everyone I can't wait to get into that Olympic start gate."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Patrick Johnston)