Tearful Alcott running out of optimism

By Simon Evans

WHISTLER (Reuters) - Britain's top skier Chemmy Alcott broke down in tears on Friday and said she has run out of money and is uncertain about her future in the sport despite being close to reaching the World Cup finals.

Alcott, who has competed in all five events and had two top- 15 finishes at the Vancouver Games, has been badly affected by Snowsport GB's collapse into administration just before the Olympics and broke down in tears while talking to reporters.

"I'm out of my money, (my sponsors) Witan have been so amazing to me over the last nine years but this is a really expensive sport.

"I just don't know where I am going from here. I know that I have a lot more to offer to the sport, I know that I can be the best and I still have that belief, it is just finding companies out there that have that belief too," she said after skiing out on her first slalom run.

"I think no athlete would choose to deal with that situation once they are racing and in the biggest race of their career but I don't know what is happening from here," she said.

"I've got one car.. I can't afford to have my physio travel with me and I could be the first Brit to reach the (World Cup) finals of the super-G ever and I feel I am fighting against everything -- it's really difficult to keep throwing myself into these difficult races," she said.

Alcott, 27, said she was upset by British media treatment of her performances at the Games -- she finished 11th in super combined equaling her best Olympic finish and 13th in downhill but struggled in other disciplines.

"I'm getting a pretty hard time at home and I think that is a very unfair situation. I guess (it is) statistic-wise because I got the same results as I did four years ago but in the last four years skiing has got hugely competitive.

"I've been through a really tough journey with my foot surgery and losing my mum and then breaking my ankle last year and losing my funding," she said.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)