Skiing is a sport close to our hearts and with the ski season almost upon us, it seemed the perfect opportunity to get in touch with someone ready to hit the slopes!
We were lucky enough to head down to the Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Show in Battersea Park last week and catch up with 22-year-old Jack Gower, who is a member of the Delancey British Alpine Senior Squad at British Ski & Snowboard (BSS). He shares his ski highs and lows, what’s next for him – and of course, what he likes most about London Town.
So Jack, we know you have a number of British titles to your name, as well as the giant slalom Junior One World Champion title! But first things first, what got you into skiing in the first place?
I originally was skiing on family holidays and I loved it, but I was actually competing in other sports when I was younger. Then we moved house and I couldn’t really compete in those sports any more so my parents were very supportive, and said “we know you enjoy competing, so is there anything you want to do?” I was adamant that I wanted to ski because it was the best sport I could think of and it just sort of progressed from there.
And what’s your favourite thing about the sport?
Without sounding too corny, the freedom that I get when skiing. It has everything that I enjoyed as a kid and now as an adult. You get the speed, you get fresh air, mountains and jumps. It was just a perfect combination of everything that inspired me.
And what does a standard day look like for you when you’re training?
It depends. In New Zealand we were getting up at 4.30am, then we’d be on the hill until probably 1pm, then we’d get home, have lunch and then it would be to the gym for two hours from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. After that, we’d have an early dinner and early bed. We do get some free time and we have some diversity in our weeks too so it’s not such a grind!
What would you say the hardest thing is about the sport?
The fact that I enjoy what I do makes everything pretty bearable. I mean sometimes it is hard being away from home for extended periods of time and not seeing the people that I care about – my friends, my family. But at the same time I obviously went into this understanding that would be the case and was absolutely fine with that. I think everyone around me understands the situation and that in itself makes it a lot easier.
What would you say to a young person thinking about getting into the sport?
I couldn’t recommend it more. I think sport is such a good thing for the younger generation to get into, as it teaches you so many necessary skills that you need in life. I’ve loved everything about skiing and I wouldn’t have been able to get the same opportunities and experiences anywhere else. I owe a lot to the sport and I couldn’t recommend it enough.
You were a flag bearer for Britain during the Olympic closing ceremony! What was that like?
That was terrifying! I was pretty nervous about that actually. I was very honoured that my team mates voted me in for it though which made it even more special – it was great.
And what’s next on your agenda?
The World Champs and the North American tour are the two focuses for the season.
Now tell us, what’s your favourite thing about visiting London Town?
I used to live in Clapham, and love the fact that London is a real epicenter for the UK. It really attracts so many interesting individuals, and many of my friends have ended up in London so I think it’s very unique that you always have people that you know around – which is special for me (and makes it easy for me to stay in touch!).
Delancey are proud to be a sponsor of British Ski and Snowboard (BSS), which is the National Governing Body for Skiing and Snowboarding in the UK. They provide incredible opportunities for athletes to achieve their full potential in the sport – both as individuals, and as a team. Stay tuned over the coming weeks as we meet more young members of BSS.