Previous trust grant recipient Jasmin ‘Jaz’ Taylor, from Ipswich in Suffolk, is a telemark skier who competes for Great Britain on the FIS World Cup circuit. She is, in her own words, ‘living the dream by representing my country’ and doing us proud since she was the first Briton to win a World Championship medal in telemark skiing. She has achieved 4 World Cup victories, across all 3 disciplines and has 22 World Cup podiums to her name. Jaz is a 5 time British Champion and 2013 French Cup Champion. She finished 2nd in the Parallel Sprint and 3rd in the Classic overall World Cup 2017/18 standings.
We caught up with Jaz after a successful season to ask a few questions.
First things first, can you explain Telemark skiing to us since many people will not have seen a lot of it as it isn’t included in the Olympics?
Telemark skiing originated in Norway and is considered by many to be the original and purest form of skiing. Racing is very similar to conventional ‘downhill’ skiing and involves going through a number of ‘gates’ with red and blue flags. Where telemark varies is the athlete has the extra challenge of negotiating a large jump half way down the slalom course as well as a ‘cross-country’ skating section towards the end of the course to really test the competitor’s endurance.
Is it frustrating that Telemark doesn’t get the coverage of other skiing disciplines?
It is just something we need to work on as a discipline, we all started somewhere and in the end I hope just as many people will know about telemark as they do alpine.
We wish you all the best in your work to get telemark skiing a Winter Olympic sport.
When did you start skiing and what was your motivation since East Anglia isn’t exactly a well known hub of skiing?
I was 10 years old; we had a mountain project in the last year of primary school. My parents suggested we visit my chosen mountain on holiday (Whistler, Canada) so I learnt to ski at the local dry slope in Ipswich and from there joined the race team and haven’t looked back.
When did you know it was going to be something you wanted to take to the heights that you have?
Day 1, it was always my dream, I just under estimated just how tough it would be!
There’s dedication for you.
And what incredible heights you’ve achieved (over 100 world cup races and 4 victories across all 3 disciplines and 14 podiums last season), run us through the highlights for you personally?
My first World Cup victory was really special though they all felt like a first because they came in each discipline, was quite cool to be the only woman this season to have achieved that.
When does your competitive season start and finish?
The competition runs from December until March though we start glacier training in September and are still on snow until April/May if we are lucky.
What are the plans for the off season and next season?
To get fit, complete more of my BASI qualifications in alpine, learn to snowboard. Then be ready to take on another full season next winter.
What do you enjoy outside of skiing, if and when you have the time?
Aside from uni work, liaising with sponsors and team commitments, I enjoy reading, BBQs on the beach, paddle boarding and wind surfing with my boyfriend, going out for dinner, watching trashy TV with my mum – all the important things…
How did you hear about The Skiers Trust Of Great Britain?
Haven’t all skiers heard of the Skiers Trust of GB?
Where’s your favourite place to ski?
Les Houches, no place like home.