A Tea Party with . . . Chemmy Alcott

It’s never too much of a challenge getting people to open up with a cup of tea and a bit of cake, perfect timing then to ask some probing personal questions. No stranger to a challenge herself, Chemmy Alcott is four times winter Olympian, TV presenter and public speaker. I am always astounded by her boundless energy and enthusiasm for anything she puts her mind to (and that is usually a lot, in our short interview she mentioned no less then five types of physical activity she was undertaking, from Muay Tai to paddle boarding to adult gymnastics, gorilla trapeze and acro yoga – the latter her and her hubbie gave me a demonstration of in their garden, as per pics above). It’s no surprise then that she was my first choice for a series of interviews I’m doing with inspiring people, called simply ‘A Tea Party With . . .’ (yes I bring cake!), to find out what motivates these ambitious people and what mantras/habits they employ to keep their energy levels high. More than anyone I know Chemmy isn’t scared to push herself to the limits (she broke her leg three times but carried on skiing competitively) and this is perhaps one of the reasons why she got so far in her career and continues to inspire people on and off the slopes on a daily basis. The other can only be her relentless positivity, which is something we’re all capable of achieving but many of us think is out of our reach. It’s not – it’s a state of mind and people like Chemmy are perfect examples of just how far you can go if you master keeping a happy head.

The Tea Party Three

Q: What makes you jump out of bed in the morning?

A: I am lucky as I am such a day person. I’m always excited about the day ahead and wake up wondering how many things I can fit into it. I like a challenge and hate missing out! So in order to make the most of my day I have a BIG breakfast, usually featuring eggs of one sort or another . . .

Q: When do you feel like you are being your most authentic self?

A: I am most myself when I am with Dougie, my husband, but in terms of environment I would have to say it’s when I’m on the slopes; it’s where I feel the most vulnerable but at the same time the most comfortable. I guess then I am most myself on the slopes with Dougie, which thankfully happens quite a lot! I am also at my best living in the moment and living each of those moments to the maximum, so when people describe me as ‘vivacious’ I feel like it is the best compliment I can ever receive – for me that word conjures up everything I aspire to be.

Q: Which three people have inspired you the most and why?


  1. My mum. She lived more in her 59 years than people who live to a 100 do. She saw the positive in everything and I guess I have inherited that happy trait from her.
  1. Jo Pavey. Her story is amazing and at 41 she is a better athlete than most. I admire her.
  1. Julia Mancuso, my best friend. She does whatever she wants, is really driven and dances to her own beat. She’s really fun and brings out the best in me.

And Chemmy’s parting words of advice to any budding sports champions?

“Perseverance – nothing worth waiting for comes easily. Your life will be a roller coaster, enjoy the ride!”

More tea parties with interesting peeps to come, stay tuned!

Jade Massoutier