Graham Bell is one of the most widely known instructors on the Maison Sport platform. He began his skiing journey with his brother Martin on the Cairngorm mountains in Scotland when he was just five years old. He soon found his ski legs and was selected for the British Alpine ski team at age 16. Graham competed in his first Olympics, Sarajevo ’84, at 18 years old. His speciality was downhill skiing, and he went on to become a 5-time Olympian and 8-time British Champion, with his top World Cup performance landing him in 12th place on the infamous Hahnenkamm in 1994.
Graham started ski instructing when he was still competing and ran dry slope race camps with his brother. Upon retiring as a professional skier, he took a position as performance director for Snowsports GB and coached the British children’s ski team. Graham has more than 20 years of experience as a ski instructor and has an extensive knowledge of the mountains and skiing. He is incredibly passionate about sharing this and helping others to discover the sport.
Due to his expert knowledge and on-screen charisma, upon retiring from downhill ski racing, alongside ski instructing Graham also found a career in TV commentating and presenting. Graham has commentated on the Winter Olympics and presented several BBC TV shows, including High Altitude and BBC Ski Sunday. Graham has also worked for Eurosport, ITV, and Sky covering a range of different sports and taught celebrities to ski jump on Channel 4’s ‘The Jump’, working with the likes of Sir Steve Redgrave, Linford Christie, Joey Essex, and Heather Mills.
Graham spends the majority of his time out in the mountains, presenting, ski instructing through Maison Sport and sharing his passion and advice with skiers of all abilities. We caught up with Graham to discuss skiing and his work as a ski instructor on Maison Sport.
Q&A with Graham Bell:
What is your favourite thing about being a ski instructor?
Seeing that lightbulb moment when the person I’m teaching really clicks and they make a progression and improvement. Whether it’s through physical demonstration or just explaining something clearly and without any jargon, working out what works for the individual is the fun part of teaching.
What is your best advice for beginner skiers?
Too many tips to give just one! Don’t get taught by family or loved ones. If you can visit an indoor ski slope before you head to the Alps and enjoy the process skiing is all about having fun!
Why should advanced skiers book a lesson with you?
I have a particular set of skills… No, seriously I do have a really large bag of cheats developed over a very long time in the mountains that can help you improve your skiing in all snow conditions.
What is your favourite ski resort in Europe and why?
It’s a tough one because I still travel so much and cover many resorts, but I still have a soft spot for Val d’Isère. It has great off-piste skiing, it’s where I competed in the 1992 Olympics and where I met my wife Sarah.
What is an important lesson that you have learned from being a professional skier?
If you don’t use it, you’re going to lose it. Ski technique is constantly evolving and improving, even for me at 58, every day is a learning day.
What is your favourite memory from competing?
My 12th place finish at the Hahnenkamm in Kitzbuhel, getting to race for so many seasons with my brother Martin and partying with Bryan Adams at the Calgary Olympics in 1988.
How has your experience been working as an instructor on Maison Sport?
Maison Sport has been great. As an independent ski instructor, they have helped me engage with so many clients, in a really user-friendly way.
Get a taste of what to expect in a ski lesson with Graham Bell in his video tutorials over on our YouTube Channel!
In his latest tutorial, Graham guides you on how to increase your edge angle when skiing:
Visit Graham’s Maison Sport Profile to learn more about his lessons and teaching style.