Snowbard news - Aimee Fuller pragmatic over post-Olympics future
There are few greater thrills in life than listening to someone discuss their deepest passion – two-time Winter Olympian Aimee Fuller has no qualms explaining just what snowboarding means to her
If someone wanted to celebrate the 27-year-old for what she has achieved throughout her career, then they wouldn’t be short of material to work with.
Fuller is a former British champion in both slopestyle and Big Air, has finished fifth in the 2017 World Tour Slopestyle World Cup rankings and was the first woman to land a double backflip in official competition.
However, it is the immeasurable enthusiasm for her sport, more than a decade after turning professional – and her determination to instil that same enthusiasm in other people – that really sets her apart from the rest.
"The publicity that comes with an event as big as the Olympics creates a unique platform for me to voice my passion for my sport," she explains, referring to the speech she made to graduates at the British International School of Washington shortly after the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
"What's great about snowboarding is that it's really fun to do but it's also accessible in terms of body shape and size, which means anybody can do it.
" Snowboarding can have a very positive impact on someone’s life too – mentally, because of the social aspect, but also athletically, because it keeps you fit."
"It's an addictive sport, which is great for increasing the number of people doing it, and I just want to share that.
"In particular, I'd like to try and get more women involved in snowboarding."
One of the advantages of loving your sport like Fuller does is that you are not exclusively reliant upon success to enjoy what you’re doing, and that will have provided a modicum of comfort for her after a frustrating fortnight in Pyeongchang.
Earmarked as a potential medal hope for Team GB on the eve of the games, her hopes of glory in the slopestyle were dashed by the vicious winds that threw her off course in the final, before two imperfect runs in Big Air qualifying left her to return home without having expressed anything like her full potential.
"It definitely didn’t go the way I'd planned," Aimee admits.
" I wanted to achieve a lot more than I did."
"I'd had one of the best seasons of my life in the run-up to the games and I was inside the top five in the world rankings, so I had super-high expectations.
"To be caught out by the weather in the slopestyle, and then have one of my bindings snap during Big Air qualifying, wasn't ideal.
"Everything went well in practice and unfortunately, it didn’t go down in the final – but that’s life, and that’s snowboarding.
"It's a sport which takes place in an ever-changing environment, so these things are part and parcel of it."
This winter, instead of seeking immediate redemption on the leaderboard, Aimee intends to spend her time fine-tuning her technique off-piste, with the aim of returning to competitive action at a later date.
"I'm really excited about exploring some backcountry boarding and taking my tricks into the extreme," she says.
"My challenge right now is progression, not competition – I want to improve myself in a different realm."
Aimee's website states that the one golden rule of snowboarding is to have fun, and when you're as enthusiastic on the board as her, you don't have to be winning medals every week to savour the thrill of the ride.