Pam Thorburn

Pam Thorburn's Glasgow

4 Mins

The idea of exercise in winter is less than appealing, but for the more dedicated it offers a powder playground. Good thing we're happy to watch from the sidelines or, more accurately, our sofa, as the Winter Olympics hit our screens from 09 February. We chatted to Glasgow girl and Ski Cross athlete Pam Thorburn about travelling, broken bones, and training for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

You grew up in Aberdeenshire. Why did you move to Glasgow?

When my parents retired they wanted to try city life so they moved from Strathaven to Whitecraigs. I love being in this part of the city. There are loads of parks to run around in, and so many good bars and restaurants in the area.

Best and worst things about the city?

Best has to be the people! The worst has got to be the weather...

How did you get into skiing?

My family are crazy-keen skiers, and I started on a holiday when I was three. I spent all my time racing after my older brother Scott.

Why did you change from alpine to ski cross?

I was heartbroken when I missed the 2010 Olympic Games and needed a change. I saw ski cross and knew I had to give it a go.

What’s the difference?

You race individually  against the clock with alpine skiing. Fastest time wins. Four people race together over a lot of bumps, turns and big jumps in ski cross with the fastest two racers progressing to the next round... in the final the fastest wins.

I'm feeling good on my skis and getting ready for the Olympic qualifying races

What does a typical day involve?

If I’m in the mountains, I get up early to do some activation/warm up training before getting on my skis. I train on the slopes from around 8 ‘til 12 and head back down the mountain for lunch. Early afternoon I do some recovery biking, core and stretching in the gym then tune and wax my skis before dinner. After dinner I’ll do some video analysis of my ski training, and fall into bed soon after.

How’s the Winter Olympics training going?

It’s going really well. After a knee surgery last year, I’m feeling good on my skis and getting ready for the Olympic Qualifying races in December.

What’s the most difficult thing about what you do?

As much as I absolutely love travelling the world, it’s hard being on the road so much and away from friends and family. I usually miss all the birthdays, weddings and catch up dos.

Ever had any scary injuries?

Too many! From broken hips to knees, shoulders to neck, I’ve had 13 surgeries in my career. Concussions are the scariest though because you can’t physically see anything wrong.

What’s next for you after the Olympics?

It really depends on how my body feels but I hope to finish the last World Cup races of the season and go from there.

If you had to sum up Glasgow in three words, what would they be?

Pure dead brilliant!


Date? Hillhead Book Club

Night out? Oran Mor

Dinner with pals? The Ubiquitous Chip

Coffee? Epicures

Pamper? Blythswood Square

Shopping? Buchanan St

Cocktails? Kelvingrove Cafe

Pizza? Paesano

Read our feature for expert tips on how to make the most out of the white stuff here.

Winter Olympics / skiing / Pam Thorburn

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