Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Sochi 2014: Aimee Fuller blown away by unique course despite ongoing safety issues

Aimee Fuller is raring to get her first Winter Olympic Games underway

Bangor snowboarder Aimee Fuller is relishing her Winter Olympics debut more than ever after sampling the Sochi course for the first time.

Much like Fuller, her snowboard slopestyle discipline is appearing on the programme for the first time ever and she has finally experienced the historic course in Russia.

It's not to everyone's liking though, with some competitors voicing concerns over safety after riding at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

Fuller is in the opposite camp and was lavish in her praise after tasting the course herself, so much so that she is predicting a stunning final on Saturday.

She must get there first, though, with qualification taking place tomorrow – and Fuller has vowed to ride smartly to ensure a place in the final.

"I think they have done an awesome job," said Fuller.

"It's probably the biggest and most exciting slopestyle course in history. I wasn't expecting something like this.

"It's mind-blowing – the course is extreme.

"It will be about who can be the most confident.

"It's probably one of the biggest courses we have ever seen," she added.

"I think it's going to go down with a bang. It's big.

"It will go down in history," said Fuller.

"This course is unique in that it has two sizes of jump.

"As this course is so progressive and huge I think it will be about putting together a clean run.

"For qualifying I think I will keep it simple. If I get to the final I will go all out."

Despite Fuller's laidback attitude, calls for changes to the slopestyle course were made and haven't gone unnoticed with the International Olympic Committee acting.

Fuller has only been in Sochi a matter of days but has already seen her fair share of drama and she believes it will be hard for snowboard slopestyle to ever replicate the 2014 Winter Olympics.

"I am blown away by the whole experience," she said.

"I am so impressed with what they have done in the Olympic Village," she added.

"The stadium (at the bottom of the slopestyle course) is insane," she added.

"I don't think I will ever have snowboarded in an event this big," Fuller said.

"In the last year we have seen a lot of progression. We're seeing girls doing lots of the same things as the boys."

Fuller is the first Ulster athlete in action in Sochi, her discipline getting under way at 10am tomorrow morning – that's the day before the opening ceremony.

Figure skater Jenna McCorkell is down to take part in the team event on Saturday ahead of her individual programme.

Skier Flo Bell has the longest wait, not hitting the slopes until February 18 when she competes in the giant slalom.

The British Olympic Association is the National Olympic Committee for GBR and NI. The BOA prepares the ‘Best of British’ athletes for, and leads them at, the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. The BOA is dependent upon fundraising income to achieve its mission.

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