Sunday, 01 August 2021

Youngster wins gold at two skiing events

A BOY picked up a gold medal at two European skiing championships last week.

A BOY picked up a gold medal at two European skiing championships last week.

Emerson Proctor, nine, won the under 10 category in the giant slalom at the Interschools Championships in Les Houches, France, held on Monday and Tuesday, before coming top in the same event at the Aiglon College Championships in Villars, Switzerland, which took place on Thursday and Friday.

Emerson, who lives in Rotherfield Greys, was representing Moulsford Preparatory School and was allowed a week away from the classroom to take part.

For both competitions, he had to ski between sets of poles, or gates, set along a downhill course measuring between 300m and 400m in length.

Emerson, who first tried skiing aged two and had his first lesson a year later, says he was “amazed” to win both races.

“The giant slalom at Les Houches wasn’t easy but it wasn’t difficult,” he said. “It was quite an off-set course where you can expect the next turn.

“You have two runs, the first you get to know the course and the second you can go all out to see if you can go faster.

“My best time was my first run because as other skiers used the course it became bumpy and I made a mistake at the top on my second run.”

Emerson, who was competing against some of the best skiers aged under 10 from France, Italy and Switzerland, says the win gave him confidence going into the second competition.

“I knew I had a good chance of winning,” he said. “But I was still kind of amazed that I did. The pistes were much smoother than in France.

“I was also quicker on my second run, only about a second slower, which shows I am improving because normally I am slower or I crash out.”

He added: “When you’re skiing down a slope it is a lot more free as opposed to when you go down a slalom course where you have to concentrate more.

“You have to concentrate on the turns you are making to go through the gates.”

Emerson lives with his parents Adrian, a commercial director, and Lisa, a former owner of a technology company, who are also keen skiers.

When he was three, the family spent four months, December to April, on the slopes and Emerson showed he had potential.

He joined La Plagne Montalbert Ski Club when he was six.

Now the family ski regularly, at weekends and school holidays.

He has his own equipment, a helmet, boots, and two sets of skis and poles for slalom and giant slalom events.

Emerson added: “Every race I am improving and making progress and I am starting to know what it is like to be in different situations. I know what it is like to crash out and now I know what it’s like to win.”

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