Thu, 09 Aug 2018
FOR one sportswoman in West Berkshire, the announcement that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be adding seven new events to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics has been presented with an exciting opportunity.
Annabel Chaffey, a former Park House pupil has been dreaming of the chance to represent Great Britain at an Olympic Games – and in four years’ time, that dream might become a reality.
Out of the seven additions to the winter games, monobob will make its debut at this level – and Chaffey has excelled in the sport.
The 20-year-old’s career highlight was a fourth-place finish in the monobob at the Youth Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, two years ago.
Chaffey said: “Initially I was shocked and then excited as it’s always great to see new sports being added to the Olympic programme, especially when they have such a close meaning.”
Chaffey is aware that the games in China may come too soon for her preparation plans.
“I’d love to be there in four years’ time,” she said.
“But in terms of my own personal development as an athlete, it may be better for me to aim for eight years’ time so that I can have more experience driving and will be more of an experienced senior athlete.”
Chaffey has dedicated a lot of time and effort to get into this position and her training programmes at Newbury’s Anytime
Fitness and the bobsleigh track at Bath University have played a pivotal role.
Chaffey raised £1,000 to take part in the 2016 Youth Olympics, and she believes that central funding should be considered because of the entertainment that monobob provides.
“Obviously if it was up to me we’d get given loads of funding because in my opinion it’s a great sport, but then again I’m very biased,” she said.
Chaffey, who works as a client services administrator, believes the introduction of new sports at the games is encouraging for promising female athletes.
She said: “The fact that we now have two disciplines like the men is massively encouraging and something that is a big step forward in promoting the sport for female athletes.”
It’s not a certainty that Chaffey will be performing at the 2022 games, but the 20-year-old believes her previous experiences could play a part in whether or not she makes the GB team.
She said: “I’m used to the sleds and the format of this event and it is something that I enjoy massively.
“I definitely would like to think that the success I had over multiple seasons in this event would help contribute overall to any future competitions I compete at.”