10 minutes with Katie Blundell

Katie Blundell (26) is a professional snowboarder. She’s won the Slopestyle event at The British Championships in Tignes, France for the last two years. And her next stop is Clapham Common, London for Freeze Festival. Ski+board Deputy Editor, Rosie Barcroft catches up with her at the Snozone in Milton Keynes to find out what she’s been up to…

Katie Blundell

Katie Blundell (Photo: James Bryant / Dragon Alliance)

RB: How are you finding it at Snozone today?

KB: Really, really good. It’s great to get back on the snow and ride for the fun of it.

After winning gold in the British Championships in Tignes, France this year, what have you been up to?

I usually spend the British summertime in Australia, which is always lovely. But I’m from Devon originally, so it’s always lovely going back, especially when the weather’s nice. Annoyingly, the nearest snow dome is over three hours away, which means I don’t manage to fit much on snow time in.

Are you excited about performing at the London Freeze Festival?

I am really excited, but I’m also very nervous. I’m quite a shy person, so the thought of performing in front of loads of people is pretty scary. To calm myself down, I usually put my music on and try to zone everything else out. My Mum also gives me a rescue remedy before any event I’m competing in, which helps. Perhaps I’ll just have to do the old trick of visualising everyone in his or her underwear!

Katie in acton during the BRITS in Tignes (Photo: Whitelines)

Katie in acton during the BRITS in Tignes (Photo: Whitelines)

Do you have any new snowboarding tricks lined up?

As I haven’t been on the snow for a while, I’ll probably stick with my ‘safety’ tricks. Basically, ones I know I can land without hurting myself. Hopefully I’ll still make the moves look good for the spectators.

Am I right in thinking you weren’t always a snowboarder?

Yeah, you are! I started skiing when I was two. When I was 21, I was skiing in Tignes, France, which was great when the snow was good. But by the end of the season the snow was pretty slushy. So I gave snowboarding a go. And after hating it at first, I actually sold my skis for a snowboard after a few weeks.

Did you find the transition hard?

I found snowboarding a lot harder than skiing at first. I was never one to surf or skateboard, so it was pretty odd going down the mountain sideways. But I love spending time in the parks doing tricks. And because I was late to start, I haven’t yet lost interest and I’m always motivated to do more.

Training in Breckenridge

Training in Breckenridge

What training are you doing in the lead up to Freeze Festival?

As I’m in Devon at the moment, I’m doing a lot of my training in the local gym. Pilates is great for strengthening my core. And I’m making sure my body is strong. I also love Zumba, which probably doesn’t help snowboarding specifically, but it’s really fun. I don’t have a trainer when I’m in the gym, I’ve just stolen exercises from everyone else that I think will work!

Apart from you, (of course) whom else should we look out for at Freeze?

There are some great people there – so anyone really. But Billy Morgan, Jamie Nicholls and Becky Menday should definitely perform well.  Becky’s only 14 years old and she’s already an incredible snowboarder.

And finally, what are your plans after Freeze?

After Christmas, I’m heading out to Austria for the Burton European Open. I’ll have spent a lot more time on snow by then, so hopefully I’ll have some new tricks up my sleeve.

For more information or to purchase tickets for the Freeze Festival visit: freezefestival.com

Visit Katie Blundell’s website: katieblundell.com

To find out more about our elite athletes visit: skiclub.co.uk/eliteathletes

For more information on Snozone Milton Keynes visit: snozoneuk.com

Rosie Barcroft
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