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British Ski Champion and Ski Coach, fitness trainer.
Today I introduce Cara Brown, 5 x British Ski Champion with 30 race wins, 54 Podiums & 10+ European Cup top 30 results. At 26, Cara has a lot ahead of her after racing & I caught up with her recently on a video call to discuss VC Ski Fitness, which will follow this introduction.
- Tell us a little about yourself……
I’m Cara, for the past 10 years I have been a professional Alpine Ski racer. Representing GB at international and national events. However, I have just hung up my race skis and retired from racing so what I’m doing now is a little uncertain! I am currently working as a coach with the team I used to race with, International Ski Racing Academy. I’m based in the Dolomites in Italy and I’ll be here, hopefully, for the winter. This summer is also set up VC Ski Fitness with Vivian Fonseca, one of the UKs top functional fitness trainers. It’s an online workout program which provides on demand workout programs to get you fit for your ski season!
- Why did you stop competing?
I started finding interests outside the skiing world, especially in the sailing world. As I started to discover other things, I started to lose my love for competing. I still love skiing (I would ski SG every day for the rest of my life if I could!) but I didn’t have the same motivation and drive to win races. When you lose that motivation then all the less fun parts of competing like constant travelling, workouts and a hectic schedule start to become more and more difficult.
- What was the best part about Ski racing?
The best part about ski racing is definitely the skiing part. The feeling of standing in a start gate with a whole run of fun in front of you!
- What about the worst part?
The cold! I hate being cold!
- What’s the fastest speed you’ve reached & any big crashes?
I’m not sure on my actual fastest… the fastest I’ve gone through a speed gun in a downhill was at 111kmph. That was at the 2nd gate, so that’s 0 – 111 in 9 seconds. As for big crashes… there been a few, I’ve broken my hand, broken my leg and torn my ACL in both my knees!
- How much coaching do you do now?
I’m now coaching full time so I’m on the hill coaching every day between now and April!
- Where do you call home, if anywhere? Do you have a Winter/Summer base?
Home is in Varese in Italy. Before Covid I used to spend about 4 weeks there a year, now I get to enjoy it a little bit more. My winter base is in Val di Fassa in Italy and my summer base… when I used to be able to get there was sailing in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean!
- You are now focussing on VC Ski Fitness, which will we discuss on a call soon. Can you tell us how you started VC Ski Fitness?
I originally met Vivian because she had clients who were interested in skiing and she wanted to know more about skiing to be able to help train them. At our first meeting though we quickly realised that we had a good thing going and we could combine her fitness knowledge and my skiing knowledge to create a one-of-a-kind workout program. Things went pretty quickly. The idea formed in July and we launched in October!
- Are there any other things you do alongside all this?
I also run my swimwear company, Corallina Swim, alongside everything else. It’s a one woman company: I designed all the swimwear, the fabric, I built the website and run social media and marketing. The company started from my love of swimwear and the collection is inspired by the British Virgin Islands, with each bikini named after an island! All the bikinis are produced in a small family run company in Como, Italy.
- Raising Money as an athlete can be difficult, how did you cope & what advice can you give to upcoming winter athletes?
It is really really tough, and you definitely can’t wait around for the funding to land on your lap! That’s actually one of the reasons why I started Corallina Swim – to help earn some money. I also worked as a coach in my spare time to help earn some money. My advice is to talk to everyone, never think that somebody is not worth your time, you never know who or what someone could lead to!
- What is the dream now, is there something you are aiming for specifically?
I had a few dreams after retiring from racing but unfortunately COVID put a complete stop to them for now. I was planning to complete my Yachtmaster Offshore Qualification (which allows me to captain yachts up to 80m all over the world) this summer. I have been working towards it for a few years but the exam centres were shut this year. Once I was qualified, I was going to the BVI to work as a captain on sailing boats! While it’s not possible at the moment, I know it will be eventually so I’m just enjoying the ride until it is.
- Outside of Skiing & Fitness, what do you love to do in your spare time?
What spare time?! You’ve probably picked it up by now but I love sailing and being in the ocean. I was actually going to study to become a marine biologist before I decided to ski race full time! I love how the ocean and sailing is the complete opposite of skiing.
- Who is your favourite Skier?
Hmmmm… difficult question but it has to be Lindsey Vonn. I don’t think I understood how impressive all her comebacks were until I hurt myself. It is incredible that she returned to the top of the world again and again after injuries. She is also just a really kind person.
- Are there any Skiers to look out for?
In the UK keep your eyes peeled for young racers Sarah Woodward and Liv Foster – they’re the next generation stepping up their game!
- What does the future hold for GB Ski Athletes in your opinion?
I think it holds a lot of struggles. While I believe we have athletes with the potential to stand on top of World Cup podiums, they’re going to have a hard time getting there with the current pathways provided.
- Lastly, where can people follow your progress & find out more about you?
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