Fuller appeared at two Winter Olympics
Despite twice experiencing the qualification process to reach a Winter Olympics, snowboarder Aimee Fuller still finds it hard to comprehend exactly how it must be for those nervously waiting for the Tokyo summer Games.
“I just can’t imagine it,” she says. “How do you deal with it? It’s mentally and physically exhausting. Training full time as an athlete, it’s so hard to mentally apply yourself if you don’t know something is set in stone.”
Fuller will watch on with interest as events unfold in Covid-hit Japan over the next six months but as for the next Winter Olympics, set to take place in a little over a year’s time in Beijing, things are much more concrete for this Brit.
As of today, Fuller is bringing the curtain down on her 13-year-old international career, one that saw her become the first female to land a double backflip and cab double 900 and also compete at both the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics.
For many, it was at the former that many will remember her for, on account of her enthusiastic and emotional commentary when close friend and room-mate Jenny Jones became the first Briton to win a medal on the snow in Winter Olympic history.
Judging by the 500-odd complaints directed towards the BBC due to her cheering when a rival fell over it was arguably not to everyone’s taste but Fuller remains unapologetic six years on.
“When that happened I was young. I had never been in a commentary box. I’ve had a little practice now,” the 29-year-old tells Telegraph Sport.
“I think that it shows pure emotion, pride and a true friendship. If one of your best mates won an Olympic medal, how present would you be on focusing your energy on what they had achieved? Showcasing our emotions was us really truly showing pure happiness and joy. I think it was a great moment for British snowsport.”
If Fuller was a little rough and ready with her first attempt inside the mountain commentary booth then she has smoothed off the edges since, with regular stints behind the mic and in front of the camera.
In the two years since she last competed competitively, she has run a marathon in North Korea which saw her fronting a documentary for the Olympic Channel, presented daily coverage of the Tennis US Open for Amazon Prime and launched her own series Lockdown Lowdown with some of the UK’s most loved athletes.
Later this month she will be back on the more familiar white stuff, albeit letting her words do the talking, as part of the commentary team at the Laax Open for the third year running, as the 2022 Olympic Games qualification window swings open.
She may not have burnished her career with an Olympic medal, unlike close pal Jones as slopestyle made its Games debut in 2014, but Fuller is proud to have been part of snowboarding’s journey; or as she puts it, from a "rock and roll cool sport with a bunch of dudes with long hair" to the professional and fully funded set-up Britain’s latest young talent, such as reigning World Cup champion Katie Ormerod, benefit from today.
"To see that transition in it becoming an Olympic sport definitely changed snowboarding," says Fuller.
"I feel super blessed to have got to see it in its earlier days when it was all about the teams and the brands, you are a part of the Roxy team or the Billabong team. I got to see it in its rock and roll days but that very quickly transitioned when it became announced that slopestyle was going to be an Olympic sport.
"Of course there are elements of the past and that’s what’s special about it. But at the same time now there is a professional, elite side and to be a part of that movement and to have experienced that transition was really cool."
With multiple irons in the fire, Fuller is hesitant to yet reveal her exact plans for the future aside from speaking intriguingly of "further broadcast opportunities across sport – I have a big interest in tennis and cars."
One thing is certain is that she will combine her trademark enthusiasm with all those experiences gained on the slopes.
"I almost call snowboarding a degree of life, the lessons I’ve learnt on the road from travelling with the team to travelling on my own, to cooking, to just being exposed to the craziest life situations that snowboarding throws at you," she says.
"Leaving the competition circuit, I want to be someone that can inspire other women on the playing field to follow their dreams and go and get it.
"I want to bow out of snowboarding as someone who can be strong as a woman in sport and inspire other people to chase their dreams and be vocal about it."