Lancashire; famous for Hotpot, Football Teams, The Blackpool Tower and the Red Rose. Oh, and an Alpine Ski Racer?
It’s not often that someone from the shores of Great Britain is recognised on the world stage in Alpine Sports. Step forward Dave ‘The Rocket’ Ryding.
Dave began skiing at the age of 6, and unlike many on the world stage, began on the humble dry slope. From there, he has worked his way up to this season, a pinnacle in his career (so far!).
From humble beginnings, Dave has now represented GB in 2 Winter Olympic Games and secured a status right up there with the world’s best. The 2016 season was something of a breakthrough for the man from Preston, beginning with a career best 12th place finish in Val D’Isere, finishing the season with a more than impressive 115 World Cup points. However, it was the 2016/17 season where Ryding stepped fully into the limelight…
Perhaps one of the highlights of this season is the 2nd place finish at the infamous Kitzbuhel World Cup Slalom, a result that incorporated years of hard work and perseverance, and broke records in the process!
Ryding broke a record that had stood for 35 years by finishing on the podium in Austria; a feat that, as of yet, is his best career World Cup result. This wasn’t a one off, the result has been backed up by impressive performances; including an agonising 4th place finish in the Stockholm Parallel Slalom, missing out on a podium place by 0.06 seconds!
Following on from this, a finish of 11th in the St Moritz World Championships was almost considered as a bit of a disappointment, which really goes to show how far Dave has come in the last few years and how impressive some of his World Cup results have been!
You have to applaud just how remarkable these performances and results are. The Rocket is mixing with the likes of Marcel Hirscher and Henrik Kristoffersen who have the might of the Austrian and Norweigan teams respectively; teams which contain pretty much every ounce of support a professional athlete could want! From ski technicians to rehab doctors. On the other hand, Ryding has achieved his success on very limited resources, with just a handful of support staff on his team. However, lets hope his success helps pump some funding into inspiring and developing young alpine skiing talent.
We are sure there is plenty to come from Dave and surely it won’t be long until he is a regular on the podium, really challenging the Austrian and Norwegian powerhouses.
Dave is now among the favourites to finish in medal contention at the next Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang 2018. Not bad for a Brit!
From all of us at RxSport, good luck!
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