Britain’s No 1 Olympic snow sports athlete and entrepreneur Zoe Gillings, finished in a very impressive seventh place at the Veysonnaz Snowboard Cross World Cup yesterday in Switzerland, fending off stiff competition from the Olympic Silver medallist, Deborah Antonioz of France.
Zoe qualified in an impressive seventh place on Wednesday out of a field of 24 – this is Zoe’s highest qualification so far this season qualifying faster than the Olympic Gold medallist Maelle Ricker.
Since Zoe’s UK Sport World Class funding was cancelled at the end of last season, Zoe has received no funding whatsoever from the English government or her governing body, instead relying solely on her personal sponsors – Pokerstars, Neteller, BMW and Isle of Man Sports Aid to provide her with an Olympic training program.
Zoe commented, “I simply wouldn’t be able to compete at this level if it weren’t for the tremendous support of my personal sponsors. They make it possible for me not just to compete but to consistently produce World Class results, thank you so so much.”
Zoe headed into the heats yesterday and quickly progressed into the semi-finals. She made a small mistake during the race, which saw her finish in fourth place and thus into the small final to determine places seven to twelve. Zoe didn’t hold back and won her heat against five other athletes including the Antonioz, securing an overall finish position of seventh.
Tomorrow, Zoe will be qualifying for the second World Cup SBX event in Veysonnaz, Switzerland and the finals will be held on Sunday. She then heads to North America for a hectic schedule of races, which includes the prestigious invitation only X Games event being held in Aspen, Colorado, on the 28 January.
Lizzie Flint, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine