Under 300 days to go: Lucy's Blog

19 April 2013

BLOG: Lucy Chaffer is a Skeleton athlete from West Australia who narrowly missed out on selection at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Now the 29-year-old is aiming to make her Olympic debut at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Under 300 days to go

Sounds like a long time, but I know how fast those days will go. It feels like just last year that I was watching the Vancouver Games from the stands after missing selection. This time it is my turn to be a part of the competition- I have under 300 days to make this a reality.

My name is Lucy Chaffer and I am part of the Australian skeleton team. A high speed sport that sees us hurtle down the bobsled track head first. I first started sliding in 2006 after being asked to try out for the program through my surf life saving club. Since then I have been competing and working my way up through the lower ranked competition until I made the World Cup team in the 2010/11 season.

I am currently ranked 11th in the world. My highest ranking was at the end of last season when I was 8th. My career highlights include coming 2nd- Whistler World Cup 2012, 5th- Igls World Cup 2012, 9th- Lake Placid World Championships 2012, 5th- La Plagne World Cup 2013 and 5th Lake Placid World Cup 2013.

I love the technical aspect of the sport. While it looks like we just lie there and let gravity do the rest, this is far from being the case. Choosing the right line to get through a corner while maintaining speed and velocity, and the fine balance of controlling the sled and letting it run to get the fastest down time is something that takes years and thousands of runs to get close to being right and consistent. When a sport is measured to the one hundredth of a second, one small mistake can mean the difference between first and tenth.

Growing up in Fremantle, Western Australia I always dreamed of going to the Olympics. Never did I think the opportunity may come through a winter sport. I played almost every sport available growing up I loved and still do love the beach, summer and anything that means I could be outside. I started surf lifesaving at the age of 5 and, while I did many other sports, it was the one that I continued to compete in up until a few years ago when skeleton took over and meant I was away for the whole Australian summer. My other main sport was water polo which I played competitively for about 7 years. While I was good enough for state teams, I know I would never have gone higher than that. I finished playing in February of 2006 then the opportunity of skeleton came up in September- this was perfect timing for me as I was looking for something else to move on to.

Like with everything in life, there have been ups and downs, but as long as you learn something from each experience I believe that they are all positive, move you forward and make you a stronger person and athlete. My ultimate goal in skeleton is to win gold at Sochi and be overall World Cup winner. To be able to do this I need to have a good team around me, I believe I have this. My family are my greatest support and inspiration to become the best person and competitor I can be. Knowing that no matter where I come they are behind me and will do anything they can to help me in this journey, I owe them a lot and can never repay them for everything they have done for me.

I look forward to the challenges and hard work ahead as I work to make a dream a reality.

Watch for my next post which will be from Europe as I spend a few months training in Latvia and Germany.

Until then continue striving to be the best you can be in whatever you are doing
Lucy Chaffer @LucyChaffer