Radio competition helps launch Daniels' Alpine skiing career

LAUSANNE, Jan 9 – When Daisi Daniels' mother entered a radio competition to win a session at an indoor ski slope, she had no idea it would change her daughter's life.

It was a moment that transformed the youngster from Rochdale, England, into a rising star of Alpine skiing.

“When I was seven or eight my mum entered a radio competition and they were giving tickets away to ski at Chill Factor [a newly opened venue in nearby Manchester],” Daniels said. “Mum isn’t much of a skier and she was like ‘you can go, you like it’.”

At her session under the dome a coach approached Mrs Daniels and urged her to enrol her fearless daughter in the ski racing programme.

While the rest is not quite history, her progression through the ranks has been meteoric, and she will represent Great Britain in the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

However, Daniels' first exposure to skiing did not suggest a stellar career.

“I was on a family holiday when I was about four and I turned round to my parents on the first morning and said, ‘I want to go home’,” Daniels recalled with a smile.

“But then they came back at the end of the day to pick me up from ski school and the coach had to chase me down the hill to get my skis off. They love telling that story.”

Olympic-level Alpine skiers have been a relative rarity in Britain, but Daniels has never seen her mountain-less homeland as a disadvantage.

“It's such a good set up at Chill Factor; you can go skiing and then shop afterwards,” she said. “And skiing inside means it’s not as cold and there’s no wind.”

Olympic Channel Video: alpine-skiing-sport-explainer-lausanne-2020

Not that Daniels gets to ski much in Manchester any more. In the winter she is now largely based in Colorado, USA, training and competing with Vail Ski Club. It was on her adopted home slopes that she recorded her best result to date, winning a USA national junior giant slalom in late December 2019.

“I was so amazed to win that race, there were some really good girls there,” Daniels said. “I do thrive under pressure. I love being pushed. I love competing against people who might be 10 seconds faster than me in one run and I will go into the next run thinking ‘I can’t be having this’. I just push myself harder and harder and eventually I catch them.”

It is this kind of attitude that makes Daniels believe she can snatch a medal at Lausanne 2020, perhaps even go some way to matching one of her idols, Great Britain’s most decorated winter Paralympian, Menna Fitzpatrick.

“Menna is amazing, she’s an inspiration to every single person out there,” Daniels said of the visually impaired skier who won a gold, two silvers and a bronze at PyeongChang 2018.

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By Olympic Information Service

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