4 February 2018Emotional ties: Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott on tea-towel nuptials and her passion for pingpong
Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott
Left: My mum Eve passed away in 2006 at the age of 59 when I was 23. The last time I saw her was at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics, getting on an Italian bus. She was really proud I’d just achieved 11th in the downhill. She always wore leopard print with gold jewellery, such as this necklace, and would never be seen without a brooch. Right: I took part inDancing on Ice in 2012. I came fifth and did the tour – 28 shows around the country – which was amazing. This is the last outfit I wore – it was part of my magician’s costume. I still wear it every year at Halloween.
I used to be notorious for losing friends’ wedding invitations, because I was travelling all the time. When Dougie [Crawford, an alpine ski racer] and I married in 2014, we thought we’d do something useful that you couldn’t lose so we made a wedding invitation tea towel.
Left: Being a Londoner, I was honoured to carry the torch through Ealing before the London 2012 Olympics. I couldn’t run with it as I was recovering from an injury at the time, so I skipped and danced. It is now mounted on the wall in our office next to Dougie’s Commonwealth Games Glasgow baton. Right: People always ask me where my name comes from. I was christened Chimene after the character in El Cid played by Sophia Loren. My mum, who was a model, was often told she looked like Sophia Loren, so presumed her own daughter might, too. But I’m just like my dad.
I wrote a poem for Dougie, which my cousin Kristina read at our wedding. It’s called ‘Life’s Plus One’ because at red-carpet events Dougie was always called my ‘plus one’. My friend Nathalie had it printed on a teapot because I love tea.
Left: I grew up in a large house where there were lots of things we weren’t allowed to touch or use, including silverware and nice glasses. When I moved out, I vowed to use things daily, however precious they were. My initialled christening spoons are now our salad servers. Right: Eight Hour Cream is my go-to for everything from lips to face. I can’t live without it in the mountains, as the wind chill brings on my rosacea. This really calms it down.
I’m an ambassador for the charity Right to Play, which uses sport to teach life skills to children. It was fate when this table tennis table came up for auction at the annual charity ball as Dougie and I have been having table tennis battles for years!
This book, from the 1940s, was a present for my dad, Tim, when he was born. He gave it to me when my son Locki [now aged one] arrived. I thought how lovely that my gran read it to my dad and now I’m reading it to my son, sitting in her chair.