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Aimee Fuller hails Rory McIlroy support in bid to be snow queen

 

By Pippa Field

She may play second fiddle to Rory McIlroy as Holywood's biggest sporting star but Aimee Fuller knows the former world number one golfer - and gym buddy - will be right behind her when she takes to the slopes in PyeongChang.

Since leaving the classrooms of Sullivan Upper behind, the two have trod differing, albeit still successful, paths - four-time major winner McIlroy soaring to record-breaking heights, while Fuller has flipped her way through the air to establish herself on the professional snowboarding circuit.

The net worth of the individuals could not be more different though, with McIlroy said to be worth over £35 million while Fuller revealed she was able to afford a buy-to-let property in Belfast and expensive Rolex following her Winter Olympics debut at Sochi in 2014.

"Rory is really cool, he's very modest and every time I see him he's very respectful of what I do and we always have a good chat when we see each other in the gym when we're back home," said Fuller.

"Before he sent out a tweet so hopefully he's tuning in this time around."

Manchester United fan McIlroy is likely to spend his spare time catching up on football matters rather than winter sports but if he does indeed tune in to the Games in South Korea - with some events getting under way today - he will see a completely different Fuller from four years ago.

The slopestyle snowboarder admits she underestimated the event when making her debut in Sochi, where she finished 17th, as team-mate Jenny Jones claimed bronze and hogged the headlines.

Now 26, Fuller is wisened from her experiences and better prepared mentally.

"The last Games came round very fast, I qualified two weeks before whereas with this I focused on the qualification process and from March last year I knew I was relatively secure and I've been able to focus on what I want to achieve," she explained.

"I'm here hungry for success, whereas last time I was just happy to be there. This time I want to challenge."

Fuller was yesterday given the first chance to test out the Phoenix Snow Park slopestyle course she will tackle in Sunday's qualification round, bidding for a place in the following day's final.

With a multitude of challenging rail and jump sections, it's not for the light-hearted.

"This slopestyle course is a giant puzzle. It's just working out which bit fits together where," she said. "But the course is going to work well for me.

"I am really excited about the jumps and how I can make them work and how I can piece it together. I hope it will be one of the best runs I have ever done."

Watch Aimee Fuller on the Eurosport Player on February 11. Don't miss a moment of the Winter Olympics on Eurosport and Eurosport Player at www.Eurosport.co.uk

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