Daniels steps up to perform at the Youth Olympics but wants more

The 2019 - 2020 season was Daisi Daniels second season racing on the FIS circuit and the 17 year old from Whitworth, Lancashire is fast making positive moves in the world of alpine ski racing. Three podium places last season including a first race win in a FIS Junior race in Vail as well as her first sub 50 point result saw her also qualify for the 2020 Youth Olympic Games where she scored a top twenty result in the Super G (18th). Daniels is definitely one of the up and coming British racers to watch out for.

Daniels is not afraid of making decisions that will enhance her career and after spells at the British Ski Academy and Team Evolution have now seen her develop her racing career at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail in America. Combine the determination top succeed, her talent and the steadfast support of her parents and you have the great basis for a racer. Daniels definitely has these three attributes.

Daniels was back in America watching the news of Coronavirus unfold in Europe so when the news about the end of season came, it was not too much of. shock she explained: "The end of the season wasn’t so much of a shock due to the warnings and seeing other races in Europe cancelled etc it was more of hugely saddening news as we finished a race that day and everyone was pumped for the next few days of races but sadly were cancelled that night."

Like many of her fellow competitors it was a race to get home as quickly as possible. With her parents also in Vail, packing up after five months away, it was a mad rush. Much of her equipment was stored in her car as they battled to get back to the UK as soon as possible. Daniels continues "It was very stressful trying to get home, I wasn’t due to fly home for a few weeks and my parents were due to fly home a few days after the races however British Airways managed to get us on the last flight out of Denver to Manchester and so we put most things into storage and headed home."

Daniels is extremely determined so how did she feel the season had gone for her and how did she feel she was skiing at the moment of lockdown? "I felt like my skiing was really starting to come together and I’m really disappointed the season ended so soon as I believe my points would’ve gotten better too."

Many coaches and influences in the skiing world talk about putting money in the bank when it comes to the off season and fitness training. With the lockdown enforcing the off season earlier than was expected, Daniels is one of many athletes using the lockdown time to good effect and 'putting money in the bank.' What is she doing to invest fitness wise for next season? "I’m really excited that my parents have bought me a Stages indoor spin bike and Ski and Snowbord Club Vail send me live workouts to do with the team over in America. I also bought myself some weights and I’m hoping to get back to boxing as soon as possible."

There is a saying that you are only as good as your last race and with this in mind, Daniels looks back with huge satisfaction at her last race of the season: "although I crashed 2nd run I thought my 1st run of skiing was good as my coaches said it was promising."

Ski racing is a sport of goals. Many set targets in terms of points and results. The elation when the targets are made is great yet the disappointment when targets are not made can see careers ended. Daniels is in the sport for the long terms and has taken a positive look on not making her goals last season: "I didn’t quite meet the goals I set at the start of the season but I’m looking forward to next season to hopefully crush those goals."

Despite not making her own goals, Daniels has impressed the selectors for the British team to keep her place on the GB Snowsport FIS team for the next season.

The 3rd Youth Olympics Games were an amazing experience for Daniels, the second time she has taken part in a Youth Olympic multi sport event. Daniels competed in the European Youth Olympic Games in 2019 in Sarajevo. Part of the four strong Alpine team, what did Daniels take away from the event? "The Youth Olympics were an amazing experience, I thought it was incredible to meet new and old friends whilst learning so much about other sports at the same time. The workshops that were provided in the village were really helpful and inspirational and the amazing facilities around the village really made you feel like you were a big part of the games."

A top result of 18th in the Super G did not really do her justice but left her wanting more.

Encouragement and support is vital in making ski race possible. It is not a cheap sport but the rewards are great when you do well. In terms of finance you need support and more often than not this comes in the form of reliance on the Bank fo Mum and Dad. Daniels is fully aware and grateful to the support her parents give her yet is also very proactive in looking after third party supporters that help her career. In short she is a great role model for the next generation coming through the ranks. Never one to shy away from talking to younger racers, Daniels is grateful to all the support she gets. "My biggest supporter has and always will be my parents, the amount they sacrifice and do for me so that I can continue in the sport I love and they’re proud of me no matter the result," she explains.

As Daniels moves up the ranks within British and International skiing, the need for more awareness is something that she appreciates. Without encouraging more into the sport, there will be no one following in the current steps being trodden by her and the rest of the GB Team. Daniels would like more media coverage for the sport as a whole. The fickle nature of sports journalism is tough to crack as the majority of media outlets only want to cover the success stories and once they die down they with revert to type and fill the sporting stories with main stream sports.

The need for more children to get into the sport is not lost on Daniels and she has visited schools with her equipment to encourage potential skiers into the sport. Daniels is certainly doing her bit to encourage new faces into the sport.

Despite there being no definitive ending of the lockdown, Daniels is "staying focused on getting fit and looking forward to get back on snow."

With Daniels being away from home for long periods, she is also using this time proactively to catch up with her friends "a lot, draw, spin, cook and sleep!"

Daniels was encouraged to test equipment when she made the move up to FIS and one of the areas that she changed was with her eyewear protection. Panda Goggles stepped up for her and her confidence and comfort in using them is very strong: "I think pandas goggles are really good, the fit is perfect and the quality is amazing too, they have so many lenses and the magnetic goggles are so easy to use I love them."

Follow Daisi Daniels results click here

about author