When I was growing up skiing was something exotic and far-away, so it still makes me smile when I see the Irish flag flying at snow sports events. I talked to Giorgia Lyons one of this new generation as she kicks off the 2019 season.
Giorgia (above 2nd from left) has been skiing since she was a little girl, starting at just three years of age. Along with older sister Gloria she’s been representing Ireland for the last few seasons in Slalom and Giant Slalom.
Born in Italy and raised in Austria, she says: ““In Austria they say if you’re not winning and doing well by 12, you should just give up. I enjoy the skiing more in Ireland, they’re all really nice and they love skiing. You have to be good enough but they love doing it too. In Austria, it’s usually more serious, it’s not always about enjoying it. I like carrying the Irish flag, it’s nice.”
She’s just finished competing in the international Trofeu Borrufa 2019, held in Andorra. She finished 31st overall in a tough field, so a good showing with lots to look forward to over the next few years.
|Giorgia w sister Gloria representing Ireland last year|
In the meantime she’s balancing school with a large number of supporting activities. Adult skiers can get up to 135km/hr doing these races, so even the tinest mistake can be a disaster. That means lots of core stability exercices, hiking, biking, running, swimming and gym-work.
It’s always so impressive to see young athletes taking sport to this level, especially in sports which are not as high-profile as GAA or soccer for example.
Giorgia says: “We will have to see, I’m trying and maybe I will make it, or maybe not – I don’t know.”
All photos on this page via Giorgia’s Twitter.