Charlie Guest delivered a ‘Success from Adversity’ talk to the Morecambe FC Scholars recently to discuss the challenges she has faced throughout her career.
Guest started skiing at the age of three, on the slopes of the Scottish Highlands, where she developed a passion for the sport, before progressing through the Scottish Alpine Ski Team and the British team before leaving school in 2012.
In November 2014, Charlie suffered a near career ending training crash, which resulted in four fractured vertebrae. Her tough road to recovery culminated with selection for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea where she finished 33rd in the slalom and was part of the Team Event which finished equal 5th.
Having nearly quit, due to the effects of her injury, Charlie went on to place 13th at the Schladming World Cup Slalom in 2020, which was a remarkable achievement given that she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
In the presentation, she highlighted the desire and determination which has led her to gain selection for the recent 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, where she finished in a creditable 21st position.
“If I look back to where I was in PyeongChang four years ago, to where I am today, it’s completely different,” Charlie said.
“It has been a difficult time and a really huge journey.
“My team and everyone have really put everything into this and I thank them for sticking by me for the last four years to get here.”
Charlie discussed how she contended with the injuries over her career, which challenged her mental health, and spoke about how she worked her way through these mental challenges with a formula that has got her to where she is now.
“Train smart, listen to your body and always speak up,” she added.
“It is never too late. There are people that are willing to help you everywhere.
“Remember, the next time you hear an athlete’s recovery story, no matter the results, consider most importantly, the mental battle that has taken place behind the scenes.”
Head of Education, Gary Kelly, said it was a successful presentation as it made the Scholars aware of the challenges they could face in the future.
“Dealing with injury and adversity is challenging for any elite athlete,” he said.
“The young Shrimps were able to listen to Charlie’s career story, how she successfully overcame her injury and returned to international competition.
“They felt like they could relate to how injury can prevent them from training and competing, even at the current stage of their career.
“Athletes have to deal with the mental and psychological barriers which can affect their career progression greatly, and the Scholars had the opportunity to learn a great deal of how to overcome adversity and succeed.”