Navigating the bustling halls of Surbiton may seem a world away from racing down snow capped peaks, but for Surbiton alumni Chemmy Alcott and Darcie Mead studying at Surbiton has fostered success in skiiing.
Alcott, a five time Senior British National Champion and four time Olympian, and Mead, Winter youth Olympian, both honed their skiing talents in the renowned Surbiton High Ski Club.
Alcott in particular claims that her childhood experience with skiing both with and independent of the school gave her an edge in competitions. In a 2014 Financial Times interview she told how she "raced every single weekend growing up, so that competitive spirit grew. That's why I won the World's Children's Olympics at 11
And it seems that for both Alcott and Mead, Surbiton's focus on perseverance and determination has contributed to their success on the slopes.
Mead's former head coach Paul Telling describes her as different from other skiers in that she is "100% on gas all the time... you can teach technique but you can't teach that sort of attitude."
Alcott has also strived to fulfil her potential despite challenges. In 2010 she shattered her right leg skiing in Canada, leaving her leg bone protruding into her ski boot. Yet she remained positive and motivated, with her outlook on the crash being that “I have no bitterness or ifs or buts. You can't beat yourself up about things you can't change…some people's destiny is to win gold. I think mine is to show how much fight I've got and how I can keep getting up when I've been knocked down”.
Mead and Alcott are only two examples of Surbiton alumni, but their tenacity and drive are traits that can be applied by anyone – whether the challenge faced is securing Olympic gold or not.
Image Source: The Times