Jasmin Taylor has returned to the Chamonix Valley for her second season competing full-time representing the British Telemark Team on the French National Cup circuit and FIS Telemark World Cup. Making the transition from alpine to telemark racing only three years ago, Jasmin won her first bronze medal at the Junior World Championships last year in Espot, Spain.
Q: So Jasmin, how has the season been so far?
I havenâ€™t had the best start to the season but I always knew this year was going to be tough after my fitness training was disrupted over the summer due to a painful stomach problem. This meant I couldnâ€™t train normally and had to take things a bit easier. It also affected my immune system which hasnâ€™t been quite right for a while now.
During the British Championships I had a chest and throat infection but I like to think that Iâ€™m back on track now, ready for more French Cups and of course the World Junior Championships in Chamonix in just over a weekâ€™s time.
Q: Last season you scored some great points on the French Cup circuit, and achieved a podium finish at the Junior World Championships in Spain. What are your aims for the 2012/13 season?
The goal this season is to try and better my results from last season. All I want is to progress and itâ€™s nice when you podium or do well because the proof of that improvement is in the results. I am hoping to do just that this season. I donâ€™t want to put too much pressure on myself â€“ I will just wait and see what I can do.
Q: I understand this season you are living with Madi McKinstry from the US Telemark Team and training alongside the French Telemark Team in Les Houches. Tell us a bit more about your training?Â Â Â Â
Madi is good fun and itâ€™s great training with someone who shares the same passion for Telemark! When you are training with a mixture of people it makes everything more interesting and pushes you much more. Itâ€™s also great when all the French Team join us too because itâ€™s good to watch and learn from some of their top telemark racers.
Seb Mansart is my coach this season. Iâ€™ve been working with Seb from the beginning and training has always been excellent in Les Houches. I am also doing a bit more cross-country skiing this season season as itâ€™s the weakest element of the race for me.
Q: Coming from an alpine racing background, why do you find telemark so appealing?
There are so many different components involved in a telemark race which makes it far more interesting and varied. In telemark you need to be very versatile as it involves an element of ski jumping, giant slalom and cross-country. All this keeps training pretty fun and allows us to mix things up a bit.
I have always loved skiing but thereâ€™s something about the telemark turn thatâ€™s just magical for me!
Q: Is there any chance we will see telemark racing in the Olympics one day?
Absolutely! I can definitely see it happening in the future and with Andrew Clarke recently appointed as Chairman of the FIS Telemark Committee he is pushing hard for inclusion. I have also been campaigning like crazy in my home town of Ipswich â€“ I want everyone to know about telemark. I donâ€™t see how it canâ€™t be a Winter Olympic discipline?
Q: What would be your advice for alpine racers looking to get into Telemark racing?
Join your local telemark ski club â€“ there are clubs in: Manchester, Hemel Hempstead, Tamworth and Glasgow. Also, there is the British Championships every January in Rauris, Austria where people can try telemark for the first time and at the end, compete in either the Championship or the Development races depending on their ability and confidence.
Jasmin Taylor is sponsored by: Kneissl UK, Mountain Boot Company (Scarpa), ChamExpress, TDS Safe-Guard (www.destroy-it.com), Edge-Riders, Pulsinâ€™, Hemel Hempsteadâ€™s Snow Centre.