It is probably an understatement to call Dave Ryding’s achievement, winning the FIS Apline World Cup slalom as momentous. It ranks alongside, Andy Murray’s Wimbledon Grand Slam wins and Mo Farah’s Olympic successes. Why such a bold statement? Dave, who is an unassuming and hardworking Olympian, in his mid 30s, has achieved most of its success, with limited financial support, compared to that of the UK sporting giants of tennis and athletics.
Total dedication to Slalom Racing
Like all British skiers, most of his achievements in wintersport has come through the efforts and the support of his family, particularly financial, at least until quite far into his career. Dave Ryding has shown the commitment and determination to reach a level, where there is a reasonable level of financial assistance, that has enabled him to receive the support his talent deserves.
In Saturday’s race, those who remember watching Alan Baxter with bated breath at the Vancouver Olympics, as he skied his way to third place, did so again, as Ryding posted the fastest time and like Baxter, one of Dave’s coaches himself nowadays, watched as one after another of his competitors failed to beat what turned into being his winning time. The result can never be beaten as Dave now stands as the first British Alpine racer to win at the highest level.
Competing Successfully Against the Stronger Alpine Countries
For Ryding this achievement is made all the more incredible when you compare the very limited resource British Snowsport has in comparison to the vast sums of money available to the top Alpine countries, such as Austria and Switzerland. This success can be attributed not least to the support team working with Dave Ryding and the other Alpine squad members, amongst them Alan Baxter.
Despite him being successful over the last few years making it to the top 10 FIS World Cup slalom rankings, few people realise that most of his early success was on dry ski slopes racing up and down the country, in the UK, in what was lovingly called the plastic races. Like all those parents who spent their summer weekends travelling the country supporting their children, Ryding’s family sat alongside the short slopes of Hemel, Llandudno and High Wycombe in all weathers, with pride, but probably never believing this day would come.