Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Biting Back: Aimee Fuller

OK, she didn't win. In fact she was more Aimee Faller than Aimee Fuller. And the accent owes more to her native Hampshire than her adopted North Down. But a new Northern Ireland sporting star was born on the snowy slopes of Sochi yesterday.

Here is a girl who has taken Northern Ireland to her heart since making our wee country her home since the age of 16 and now, at 22, it is our turn to reciprocate.

All the national headlines this morning belong to GB's first Winter Olympics medallist on snow, Jenny Jones, who took bronze competing in the same snowboarding event as our Aimee. And well done, Jenny; young Aimee, to her credit, being among the first to congratulate her, rather loudly on national TV.

Snowboarding makes for brilliant TV, even for those who don't know their backside rodeo from their tennis elbow. And no sooner had Aimee kicked the snow from her boots, than she was letting us know what fun it was as she joined the hugely enthusiastic and totally immersed BBC commentary team of Ed Leigh and Tim Warwood at the microphone.

It was all "Aaaaaaaaaaargh! Woooooaaah! Aaaaaaargh!" from the trio, and over every breakfast table in the land. As it became clear Jones was going to make the podium, uninhibited Aimee blurted: "I think I am going to cry." And why not?

Whatever she achieves in her sport in the future, Aimee will forever be remembered as the girl who surely inspired a new generation of Northern Ireland snowboarders by landing on her backside. And when she hangs up her snowboots, a job in TV awaits.

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