Emily Sarsfield has become the first British female to claim Europa Cup gold after winning the ski cross at the final meet of the season in Val Thorens, France.
The 26-year-old from Durham defied a strapped right knee and broken right thumb - for which she wore a hand cast - to beat off competition that included the top three women on the circuit.
Sarsfield cruelly missed out on selection for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver after suffering a serious knee injury on the Olympic course just over a year ago. But she showed the British Olympic Association exactly what they had been missing with Saturday's historic result, which was also the first Europa Cup win for any British skier for five years.
A delighted Sarsfield said: "I knew I was capable of winning and was feeling confident on the course.", “However, I was still a little sore with knee niggles and a ruptured thumb ligament so I knew my start would struggle.”
"All thing considered, it is a great result.”
"It's been an extremely hard season this year with the BOA declining my Olympic invite and coming back from injury, so it was great for me to get some confidence to show I am coming back hopefully better than before. "It's made me more determined to build my strength over the summer, ready to have a great season next year."
Sarsfield's season comes to an end this week, after which she will visit her knee surgeon to "sort out a few niggles". She added: "I'm looking forward to building more strength in my right leg and getting fit over the summer."