Zoe Gillings-Brier inspired by Ennis-Hill for 2018 Winter Olympics

Zoe Gillings-Brier and husband Dan
Zoe Gillings-Brier and husband Dan

Olympic snowboarder Zoe Gillings-Brier hopes to emulate heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill, after learning she will become a mother this year.

Gillings-Brier, 30 and her husband and coach Dan Brier are due to become parents in August.

Qualification for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, starts in December.

Fellow Briton Ennis-Hill, also 30, became world champion just 13 months after the birth of her son Reggie.

"To see how Jess came back after pregnancy was awesome and hugely inspiring," said Gillings-Brier.

The Isle of Man-born snowboarder is taking advice from Olympic silver medallist and friend Shelley Rudman, who won skeleton World Championship gold for the first time after becoming a mother.

"There's a lot of research being done about how women can potentially come back stronger after pregnancy because of hormones," she said.

Gillings-Brier made her Olympic boardercross debut at the 2006 Games in Turin and achieved her best result at Vancouver 2010, where she was eighth.

She was ninth at the Sochi Games and spent much of the 2014-15 campaign practising freestyle snowboarding techniques to help her favoured event.

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