Berczy Interviews: Aimee Fuller
Snowsports enthusiasts will need no introduction to Aimee Fuller; she’s been on Team GB for over 10 years; competed at two Winter Olympics; landed the podium at the X Games, and was the first woman to land a double backflip in competition. Aimee is one of Berczy’s ambassadors and is full of positive energy.
She has a passion for all board sports, whether it’s snowboarding, skateboarding or surfing. After an extremely successful snowboarding career, she’s now turning her energy to broadcasting and you should definitely check out her podcast the Monday Mile.
I suppose we should start with when and how you got into snowsports? We hear you changed allegiance!
I first tried skiing when I was 8, we were visiting my cousins who lived out in Canada. I did a day on Chicopee mountain, and absolutely loved it. However, when I was 12, we moved to the USA and I hung up the skis. During my three and a half years there, I discovered my passion for snowboarding.
I had just started Sullivan Upper School back in the UK, when I was scouted. I had been invited to join the Roxy future team in Switzerland. It was a dream come true, as I thought my chances of becoming a pro snowboarder were over. I did a week with the Roxy team, then three weeks later I was at the start line of the biggest 6* international women's event, The Roxy Chicken Jam. I had no expectation and no fear and just went for it, and landed myself in the finals of my first 6* event.
It became clear that it was possible, and I knew I had to give it everything I had for this opportunity on the snow.
How would you explain slopestyle and big air to someone who doesn’t know much about snowboarding? And, which one do you prefer?
Slopestyle is generally an 800m course, however it does sometimes vary in length. There are a series of jumps and rails of varying heights and angles, and you have to make your way down the course – almost like a gymnastics run – and you are judged on style, technicality and overall impression.
Big Air is one enormous jump, also known as a kicker. You have three runs, and your best two scores count. This is judged on the biggest and best trick you can perform, and landing it!
I think an element of me likes Big Air, because it's less complex. It's about going for it, and landing your very best performance. Slopestyle has a lot more going on, there’s also a more creative element, which keeps it different and exciting. However, there are a lot more moving parts and factors to control.
Have you ever had any really hairy moments while snowboarding or competing?
Yes, lots. It's part of the process and it makes you tougher both mentally and physically. It is brutal! My fractured eye socket was up there with the worst...
...I slid off an Airbag in Slovakia. It was meant to be a reduced risk training environment, but imagine landing on a wet bouncy castle at speed! I slid straight off the equivalent of a two-storey building onto a wooden deck with no bumper, hence the injury.
What was your career highlight?
Finishing 3rd in the World Cup Big Air super series tour in 2017! And of course, being able to compete at two Olympics: first the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, and then the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
If it wasn’t snowboarding, what do you think you might have done?
Probably a weather woman, or a PE teacher!
Lockdown has obviously been a weird time for a lot of people, what have you been up to? Is there anything that has really made you feel better if you’ve had a bad day, week or month?
Exercise is my medicine, every time I move I just feel good and it lifts my vibe.
Of course, a routine is hard to stick to, but if you can plan your workouts ahead, you'll find time to fit them in and it will help you to get them done. I have been nurturing my mind and body, doing what feels good, whether it's a run by the river, yoga, or a cycle round Richmond Park. I love being active, and that clarity it gives me.
How did you make the decision to give up competitive snowboarding last year?
It was tough, but not at the same time, I've had a really good run in the sport. The journey began in 2007, and I've lived that dream. I'm ready to explore a new chapter, I will always be a snowboarder, just not a competitor. It's an art form, the creative element and that's what I love about it.
You’ve now turned your attention to broadcasting, what lies in store for the next year?
A lot more digital content, like the Monday Mile, the Olympic Mile with BBC Sounds, and larger features with the BBC.
It's an exciting time and it's all evolving fast, so I am enjoying the process!