Going To The Snow? Steal This Olympic Skier's Tips For Staying Injury-Free

Australian Winter Olympic alpine skier Greta Small is currently ranked 19th in the world, and is a very strong hopeful for us in next year’s Winter Olympics (in February 2018). So if you’re heading to the slopes to make the most of the season’s final snow, make sure you read her advice for staying injury-free (because we know you like your collarbone as is). But first, a quickfire Q&A to get to know Greta…

Greta Small


Favourite après-ski activity? Toasting marshmallows by the fire.
Fave Aussie ski destinations? Mount Hotham, the highest alpine resort in Victoria!
Have you ever been snowboarding? I’ve never been snowboarding but some day Torah Bright can give me a lesson!
And fave O/S destination? Val d’isere, France.
Fave meal? Tacos or Pizza – too hard to decide!
Best snacks for taking on the mountain? 
A cheese and biscuit pack along with a chocolate treat.
How do you prevent/deal with chapped lips? Lots of SPF30+ lip balm – apply while on the chair lifts!
What do you always take up the mountain? My helmet and back protector!
Top moment of 2017 so far? First day back on skis at Mt Hotham – six months post-injury.
Fave song to train to at the moment? Fake Magic, Peking Duk.
Fave TV show? Downton Abbey.
Sportswomen you most admire? Alpine skiers, Zali Steggall and Ilka Štuhec.
Other celebs you most admire? JK Rowling (I’m a secret Harry Potter nerd). 
What are you most scared of? Drowning – I like my water frozen in the form of snow!
What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you? I own a mountain unicycle.

How are you feeling about the upcoming Olympic Games, in PyeongChang?
I’m really excited for the upcoming Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. It’ll be my second Winter Olympics so I have the experience under my belt and I’m really looking forward to improving on my 15th place result (Alpine Combined) at Sochi 2014. Unfortunately I’ve had two injuries since Sochi but rehabilitation is going really well and I’m back skiing at Mount Hotham and I know I’m in great physical shape to make the most of the upcoming Winter Olympics.

How are you feeling about it being held in PyeongChang? I’ve heard it’s going to be a particularly cold Olympics…
I’ve raced at PyeongChang numerous times and in January 2017 it was minus -25°C. Korea is mostly manmade snow, which makes it more reliable for the Games. It’s such a different atmosphere skiing in Korea compared to Australia or Europe – it has a theme-park atmosphere with extended night-skiing hours.

How did you get into skiing?
Growing up my parents were both skiers, so they got me into skiing when I was two years old. I’ve been skiing at Mount Hotham my whole life but didn’t start racing until I was 11, through Inter-school racing competition. I fell in love with the thrill and adrenaline rush that came from racing.  

Do you have any advice for avoiding injuries, for novice snow sports peeps?
My best advice would be to keep your body in shape through the off-season by keeping active through general physical activity and seeing a physio if you ever experience even small niggles. Pilates and yoga are great for keeping you flexible and building your core strength. My off-season regime involves six days of training a week, including weight-lifting, bike riding, knee rehab and lots of squats! 

Discover what the Women’s Health initiative WinS is and how you can get involved here.

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