TALENTED skier Anna Vincenti insists she is confident her quest to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics will get off to a flying start after attending a GB training camp in America recently.
The Bearsden Ski Club member (17) spent six weeks away from home on the slopes of Colorado in a bid to convince GB Freeski coach Pat Sharples she is ready for a place on the world freestyle circuit.
The teenager now has 12 months to nail down a spot on the GB team for Sochi, Russia, after putting her skills to the test in the US, and is desperate to put what she has learned into practise.
She said: “I have got a lot more confident now. We don’t have the big jumps in the UK so it is great going away to America, practising tricks you thought you had lost and learning new stuff.
“Training with the professionals as well is great because they push you on and give great advice.
“Most of my competition will live in areas they can practise more and that gives them an edge but going to Colorado has helped me close that gap.”
The skier has been trying new tricks and hopes to use them in competitions to give her an edge on her competitors.
Vincenti first ventured out on the snow as a three-year-old and took up ski racing three years ago, focusing on the half-pipe and slope-style disciplines of freestyle skiing.
But despite the pressures of balancing her training regime with her education, the talented teenager – who has also represented Scotland Under-15s and U17s and Hibernian football teams as a goalkeeper – can’t wai t to return to the US to soak up more knowledge.
She continued: “It was good to be home but some of my teammates are still out in Colorado and I just can’t wait to go away again.”
Balancing schoolwork, exams and skiing has been a difficult juggling act, but the young starlet believes it is something she can do.
After her exams the focus will be to to get some good results at Europa Cup events.
She said: “If I do that I can qualify for the World Cup events and get the two top-12 finishes I need to qualify for the Winter Olympics.”
There is also the Austrian Open at the end of February that she is targeting as well as a couple of tournaments in France and Switzerland.
Vincenti is part of the Bank of Scotland Local Heroes programme, in partnership with SportsAid. The programme has supported 170 of Scotland’s most talented developing athletes.
As part of Bank of Scotland’s commitment to helping future sports stars prosper, the programme will continue in 2013.
To follow Vincenti and a host of other young up and coming stars, go to facebook.com/bankofscotlandlocalheroes