ANNA VINCENTI’S ultimate goal is get her hands on the crystal globe that signifies the overall winner of the Ski World Cup series and just to make sure she never loses sight of her aim, a photo of the globe is the screen saver on her phone.

However, it seems somewhat anomalous that at the same time the freestyle skier is plotting her path to one of the most prestigious prizes in her sport, she is on crutches. And to make things worse, she knows that she is unlikely to even put on a set of skis until next summer following a serious knee injury that required an operation plus considerable rehabilitation before she is anywhere near full fitness again.

Vincenti is no stranger to injury, though – in fact, she is far too familiar with the process of recovering from time off her skis, with the past few years having been nothing short of catastrophic when it comes to injury problems.

In 2015, she ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament, which is widely acknowledged as one of the worst injuries in sport. However, she bounced back from that setback in impressive fashion, with the 2016 season becoming the best of her career with a number of strong results including a number of top-5 placings in Europa Cup races.

But things are never smooth for the 22 year-old from Edinburgh and a shoulder injury and another knee issue put her, once again, out of action for a short time. However, last summer, on a training camp in New Zealand, disaster struck. “On only my fourth day, I was on a rail but had a little bit too much weight on my back foot so twisted when I landed,” she recalls.

“When I tried to get back up, I couldn’t straighten my knee. The medical people were trying to talk to me and I couldn’t even speak, all I was thinking was I cannot go through this again. I felt like my whole world was crashing down - and I wondered if that was it for me and skiing.”

On Vincenti’s return to the UK, it was revealed that she had, once again, torn her ACL, which resulted in yet another operation. Such an injury-plagued few years would have been too much for many but Vincenti is made of sterner stuff than most and despite being told she would be out of action for almost a year, she has thrown herself into her rehab with gusto and her progress is encouraging.

“I’m feeling so positive in my head - I think a lot of athletes might have quit having gone through all of this but I just have too much passion and love for the sport to give it up,” she said. “It also gives me confidence because I feel like if I can get through all of this, I can get through anything.

“Whenever I feel down, I just think about getting back on skis and I’ve honestly not had a single moment when I thought I didn’t want to come back.”

One major setback for Vincenti as a result of this injury is that she will miss the 2018 Winter Olympics, which begin in just five weeks in Pyeongchang in South Korea. Having missed out of selection for the Sochi 2014 Olympics by a mere whisker, she admits that missing the 2018 Games as well is a bitter blow. But rather than get down about her situation, she has merely reassessed her goals, which is where the crystal globe comes in.

“It’s gutting to know that I’ll miss another Olympics but it just means that I’ve changed my targets - now I’m going to go for the crystal globe which is what the winner of the overall World Cup title gets - that’s what I’m completely concentrated on now. I’m targeting 2019 or 2020 for that. I love having goals like that - it gives me a real reason to stick at my rehab every day and keeps me focused. And I have the crystal globe on my phone to make sure I never forget what I’m working towards.”

Vincenti may still be limited in what she can do physically but she ensures that she makes up for any physical deficiencies by strengthening her mental game to such an extent that she is confident that return even better than she was before this latest injury. “Visualisation is a big thing for me,” she said.

“Your mind is so connected to your body so if you can already do it in your mind, your body will just fall into place. When I came back from my last knee injury, I progressed so fast and I feel like this time will be even better.”

Vincenti may be dedicating her life to achieving success on the slopes but it hasn’t always been like this. She began her sporting career as a footballer and was a junior Scottish internationalist. She still follows football closely and admits that occasionally, her thoughts do drift towards wondering where she would be if she had never switched careers. “I still watch women’s football a lot – I was really interested in the Euros and some of the players in the team were the girls I used to play with,” she said.

“I miss football a lot and I do think about where I would be if I had continued with it. My goal in life was to go to America on a football scholarship so I do think about if I would be doing what they’re doing if I had stayed in football.”

However, despite her travails of the past few years, she does not, she reveals, ever have a moment of regret about the path in life she has chosen. “I am so glad that I picked skiing - the scene around skiing so cool and so I definitely made the right choice.”