The former lifesaver and water polo player turned her focus to the sport of skeleton in 2006 and is now on a mission to represent Australia at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia next year.
Living in WA with no ice in sight, the 29-year-old admits it’s an unusual choice of sport but said she loved the adrenalin that came with it.
‘I sprint for 20m, jump on the sled and race down the ice chute head first for 2.1km in about 50 seconds,’ she said.
‘There is no ice chute in the southern hemisphere so I can’t just go and practice on a track. It means my training is a bit different to my competitors but includes about 20-30 hours a week of sprints, weights and a bit of long distance running.’
Chaffer, a physical education teacher working relief at Santa Maria College, will head to the slopes of Latvia and Germany on Friday for three months.
‘I am vying for one of two places in the national squad so I’m heading over to Europe to prepare for the season ahead,’ she said.
The current world number 11 narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, but is confident of making the cut for the 2014 Olympics in February.
‘This is my best chance to go; I have had the best preparation I can, and have the next few months to improve my starts and technique before the qualifiers in February,’ she said.
‘Every time I’m training, I have the Olympics in my mind.
‘The hardest part is spending only four months in Australia this year, but it will all be worth it if I make the Australian Team.
‘The Olympics is a big driving force for me.’
– Chaffer is seeking sponsorship to help fund her out-of-season training. While the AIS help sponsor her during the season, Chaffer has to cover her own costs for any additional training.
To sponsor her or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.