After her health issues slalom star Charlie Guest is now back for a second shot at Beijing Winter Olympic Games.
Heading into Beijing 2022, Perth slalom star Charlie Guest says she’s the strongest she’s ever been.
Despite a difficult Olympic debut after her appearance at Pyeongchang 2018 was derailed by a back injury, plus a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis in 2020, she’s now back from the brink for a second shot at Beijing 2022.
The 28-year-old nearly walked away from skiing after her recent difficulties, but she has since seen an excellent return to form, bagging a lifetime best 13th at the Schladming World Cup slalom earlier this year – and she insists there’s still ‘more to come.’
She said: “The biggest thing for me is how different the preparation has been going into this Games.
“I came into 2018 incredibly injured and in a really bad place, mentally and everything, although I still loved my Olympic experience.
“At the end of that year I decided I was leaving the sport and going to university and now I’m picking up some historic results and staying in skiing.”
Guest has raced on the world cup circuit three times in 2022 and has made the top 20 on each occasion.
Staying fit has been the only priority for Guest in recent years and thanks to National Lottery funding, she is provided with the necessary support system to do so.
“Thanks to the support of the National Lottery, I’ve got a programme that’s built for me and it’s delivering results,” said Guest, who is one of over 1,000 athletes able to train full-time, access the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support thanks to vital National Lottery funding.
“The team have got this common goal of how they can get me skiing fast and all the decisions my physio, coach and technician make are geared towards that.
“I’m the strongest I’ve ever been and I’m really excited to see where we can go.”
Guest is hoping to be the latest name to add to the 1,000-plus medals achieved by British athletes since the advent of National Lottery funding to elite sport in 1997.
Women’s slalom skiing has been dominated by USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin and Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova in recent seasons, but the field behind those two looks wide open and Guest feels ready to rise to the challenge.
“I think women's slalom is a really exciting place to be at the moment,” said Guest.
“And even then both Petra and Shiffrin have shown that they can’t always get it right 100 per cent of the time, and that people can break through.
“For people like myself, there’s absolutely nothing to lose and so I think it’s quite a powerful position to be in.”
Since National Lottery funding to elite sport started in 1997, over 1,000 Olympic and Paralympic medals have been won, with more to come in Beijing 2022, Paris 2024 and beyond.