By Ryan Bangs in Sochi, Sportsbeat
NO sooner had Keston’s Aimee Fuller made her Winter Olympic debut in Sochi then she was off to meet royalty - but she insists she won’t be pleading for a seal of approval just yet.
The 22-year-old was one of four snowboarders to get Britain up and running at the Games with the men’s and women’s slopestyle qualification heats scheduled for the day before the opening ceremony.
Drawn in the first of two heats for the women, Fuller was solid if unspectacular in a sport that requires such skill but she’ll get another chance to fight for a medal at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
With every entrant guaranteed a place in the semi-finals, Fuller was bidding for one of four direct places to the final in her heat although she finished tenth with a best first run of 44.50 points.
However, Fuller wasn’t letting it get her down as she rushed off to meet Princess Anne in Sochi while she confirmed that she will attend the opening ceremony tomorrow evening (Friday).
“I think I might go and meet the Princess in a few hours. She’s coming out, so that will be cool,” she joked afterwards.
“I’m also going to the opening ceremony and I’ll practice as well, then we’ll give it another go on Sunday and we’ll see.
“The boys compete the next day [after the opening ceremony] so it is pretty much a no-go for them but I am definitely going to go and check it out.
“It is a once in a lifetime experience and I am just soaking it all in. I am enjoying myself. I definitely didn’t get down what I wanted to get down so I am a little disappointed there.
“But I go up there to do the best run I could possibly do, and we’ll see what happens on Sunday. It is slopestyle, anything can happen. The jumps are big so we’ll see.”
Fuller is no stranger to the big occasion having experienced the invite-only Winter X Games, which before snowboard slopestyle was added to the Olympic programme was the main event.
The two now share the mantle but Fuller insists her adventures in Sochi so far have outweighed anything she has done previously in her fledgling snowboarding career.
“I see the heats as a good building block for Sunday’s semi-finals. Riding in front of this big crowd is a completely new experience,” she added.
“I enjoyed every minute and when I didn’t land [my second run] I still continued on and made the most of it. I had a good day.
“It is a huge step for women’s snowboarding, we have ridden big jumps before but this is definitely a step up. I Samsung are a proud partner of Team GB and are supporting the Samsung Galaxy Team.
To meet the team, see exclusive content and win amazing prizes, including once-in-a-lifetime winter sport training sessions with the Samsung Galaxy Team athletes, visit: samsung.com/uk/sochi2014
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