After spending months in the mountains of Austria in preparation for her international alpine race debut, Higherford’s Charlotte Holmes returned home on the back of a podium finish.
The 14-year-old skier, who was crowned the British Under 14 Alpine champion last year, had embarked on a solid block of intense training with Team Evolution Racing close to Radstadt after being selected to represent Team GB.
Starting out in Vratna, Slovakia, the Park High School pupil tackled the Giant Slalom event against 160 competitors from more than 20 countries.
The teenager completed a clean run on her first attempt to take up third position, but a few small mistakes as the nerves crept in on her second run pushed Charlotte back in to fourth spot overall.
Taking on the slalom race the following day, the Pendle Ski Club ace negotiated her route down the mountain to ski into sixth place.
However, determined to improve her standing, Holmes pushed it on her second run to conclude the event in joint fifth position.
Leaving Slovakia with two international podiums it was time to regain focus in time for the races, which were to be held at Ricky v Orlických horách in the Czech Republic.
Charlotte’s involvement got off to the worst possible start when a disqualification early in the Giant Slalom meant that her race was over before it had barely begun.
But the youngster passed that test of character with flying colours and put the disappointment behind her in readiness for the final race.
With a steely determination, and a desire to show the world what she could do as all eyes turned to her, Charlotte slalomed down the tricky course to climb into fourth position after the first run.
At this point a podium finish was in her sights and Charlotte was more than ready for the second episode after a brief course inspection.
Leaving everything out there on the slopes the year nine student was able to polish her placing to finish up in the bronze medal position.
Charlotte returned home with third, fourth and fifth place finish against some of the best young skiers on the planet.
She’ll now catch up on her studies before undertaking her next block of training prior to the English Championships, which are due to commence during half-term in Bormio, Italy.