This week BMC Ambassador Shauna Coxsey flew back from bouldering in the Utah desert to attend the the extremely glitzy 2014 BT Sport Action Woman Award Ceremony, presented by Clare Balding and screened to the world last night.
Shauna was chosen by BT Sport as one of ten nominees who have made ‘dazzling’ international contributions to, or achievements in their sport this year. She was interviewed on stage alongside nominees such as Jo Pavey, European 10,000m gold medallist, Emily Scarrat, England women’s rugby World Champion, Lizzy Yarnold, Olympic skeleton gold medallist, Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, record-breaking rowing World Champions and the final winner Charlotte Dujardin, World, Olympic, European, World Cup Dressage Champion.
To come second in a national public vote of this scale in a field of traditionally celebrated athletes is quite incredible, and demonstrates Shauna's ability not only as an athlete but as an ambassador for the sport.
Her BT Sport supporter, Louise Hazel, Olympic heptathlete said: I have complete admiration and awe for a woman who has become a world-beater at such a young age in a sport as physically and mentally challenging as climbing. You’ve got to be strong, brave, intuitive, flexible and very clever.’
The Runcorn Rocket has flown far out of orbit. This year Shauna became the third woman in the world to climb 8b+, won two golds in the World Bouldering Competitions, finishing the season in second, ran the fourth sell out Women’s Climbing Symposium, became a BMC Ambassador and this week, walked a red carpet with Olympians.
She is the first British climber to perform and work at this level and under today’s media glare, and yet Shauna is also still Shauna. Straightforward, psyched, kind, positive. What will she bring back to the world of climbing in 2015? Expect some glitz! We catch up with Shauna as she flies back to the desert rocks:
What is the BT award about for you?
Celebrating the success of British women in sport. It's a chance to get dressed up and celebrate our achievements in style!
What are your Action Woman qualities?
It's funny. I don't really consider myself as an action woman. In my head an action woman is some heroic, badass superwoman. I get scared, I cry, I fail. Maybe I'm just too stubborn to give up. Does that count as a quality?
Let’s swap stubborn for tenacious hey? What was it like to dress up for the red carpet?
So I arrived at the BT Sport studios after spending a few weeks living in a van in the desert in the USA. I had dry hair, dry skin, dirty jeans and scratched up finger nails. I love getting dressed up. It's so rare that the opportunity coincides with my motivation to put in the effort. I had both my hair and make up done at the studio. Within half an hour I was transformed. It was amazing. I loved it. It's just such a novelty experience. I have to thank my coach, Mark, for bringing my dress down to London!
Who would you award Action Woman of the year to if you could?
I can't possibly answer. Each nominee had such an incredible story of success, dedication and perseverance. It truly was an honour to stand alongside them.
What's your next piece of action?
I'm currently on my way back to the USA to explore some areas that I have never been to and generally just try and have as much fun as possible before all of the training commences.
Drum roll please. Action Woman Shauna Coxsey landing at a crag or a comp near you next year. Watch out, she’s tenacious!
Post by Shauna Coxsey.
WATCH: your backstage pass to Shauna's Bouldering World Championships 2014 experience in Munich, on BMC TV
Watch the BMC Ambassadors series trailer on BMC TV:
Find out more about Shauna at www.shaunacoxsey.co.uk
Follow Shauna on Twitter: @shaunacoxsey