About 100 people crammed into Settle’s Talbot Inn to cheer on local skier Emma Lonsdale in her first – and last – Winter Olympics.
Emma, who has worked at the pub for two years, competed for Team GB in the halfpipe event in Sochi on Thursday – and afterwards announced she would be retiring from the sport.
“The whole event was absolutely brilliant,” said 29-year-old Emma, who, despite a clean run, failed to make the final 12, finishing in 18th place.
“I skied better in practice than in the competition, but I am still proud to have taken part.
“The pressure was huge – I knew I had massive support back home and I didn’t want to let anyone down. The people of Settle have been phenomenal.
“I made a few silly mistakes, which lost me points, but I survived and made it down in one piece. I don’t think I embarrassed myself.”
The nine-times British champion was cheered on at the Rosa Khutor venue by her parents – Rae, a retired national park officer, and Jean, an instructor at Kendal Snowsports Club – who had flown out from the family home in Langcliffe.
“They were waving flags at the bottom and it was really nice to have some support.”
And, there was more support back home in Craven where friends gathered around a television set at the Talbot to watch the live action.
“There was a really good atmosphere and everyone was very excited,” said landlady Rosie East, who went to Settle High School with Emma.
“She did well to get to the Olympics and we are really proud of her.”
Emma is now considering her future. “I haven’t really thought what I want to do,” she said.
“For the past two years, my sole focus has been on getting to the Olympics and I haven’t looked beyond that.
“I am interested in cooking and nutrition so I may be able to do something with those.
“I would still like to be involved with the team in some way. And I will continue to ski and plan to do some photos and filming for my sponsors.”