A strong result for Freestyle Snowboarder Katie Ormerod, and Europa Cup podium finishes for two of the Para Snowboard squad headlined a busy weekend for Britain’s skiers and snowboarders
Freestyle Snowboarder Katie Ormerod notched her highest World Cup finish since February 2020 and her best Big Air result since August 2019 with fifth place at Steamboat World Cup on Saturday. Ormerod, making her first competition appearance of the 2021/22 season, banked a score of 112.75 bringing her in just ahead of Canadian Jasmine Baird, whose 111.75 was enough to secure her sixth place.
Ormerod was joined in Steamboat by fellow Brits Billy Cockrell, who claimed 34th spot in the men’s Freestyle Snowboard Big Air, James Woods and Chris McCormick (21st and 25th in men’s Freestyle Ski Big Air), and Izzy Atkin and Katie Summerhayes (16th and 23rd in women’s Freestyle Ski Big Air).
In Landgraaf, the Para Snowboard squad saw noteworthy Europa Cup Banked Slalom results for Nina Sparks (2nd) and Jon-Allan Butterworth (3rd) in the women’s and men’s competitions. At World Cup level, Owen Pick landed 4th and 5th placed finishes in the week’s two World Cup competitions, Ollie Hill a pair of 6th places, and James Barnes-Miller 5th and 6th.
Lloyd Wallace’s first Aerials World Cup of the season saw him land a 17th placed finish, while the GB Moguls Squad saw a number of post-injury returns at the World Cup, Ruka, with Tom Gerken Schofield, Makayla Gerken Schofield and Skyler Nunn all making their first appearances of the season. The pick of the results saw Leonie Gerken Schofield finish in 28th place in the women’s competition.
Andrew Musgrave secured another top-20 finish in the 15km F at the Cross Country World Cup in Lillehammer, coming in a little ahead of Russia’s Artem Maltsev who finished in 21st.
In Alpine, Victoria Palla added to her collection of podium finishes for the 2021/22 season, coming second in the National Junior Grand Slalom Race in Santa Caterina Valfurva, while Ted Slade also notched a National Junior Race podium with third place in Slalom in Passo Monte Croce.
The weekly GB Snowsport results summary is presented in association with Snow+Rock
Header Image: Katie Ormerod, Photo Credit: Matt McCormick
Britain’s sole Aerials World Cup athlete, Lloyd Wallace, takes time out from pre-season training to talk injuries, family, and the importance of perspective
“What you have to remember is that the safest way to do a new trick is to commit to it properly. Aerials, done badly, is dangerous and there are no half measures.”
Lloyd Wallace, Britain’s sole World Cup level Aerials skier, is describing the process that leads to an athlete adding a new trick to their repertoire. When it comes to understanding the dangers of the sport, he would know: just over four years ago, a 22-year old Wallace found himself placed in an induced coma when an accident in training left him unconscious in a pool of water. Incredibly, the speed of his recovery saw him back on the snow in time to represent the country just six months later at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. But the experience left him a changed man.
“I was very aware of how lucky I had been, and very aware that after skiing I didn’t have a plan to fall back on,” he explains. “After the Olympics, I was tired. I needed a break from the sport to figure out the rest of my life.” So, Wallace took the break he felt he needed. A return to the University of Bath to study for a Masters, and a job that he “sort of fell into” as a sports agent. But then, the itch returned.
“I had two years to reflect on my skiing career, and it gave me some important perspective on why I chose to get started in Aerials in the first place: it was because I loved it. I gave me so much enjoyment and satisfaction, and I lost track of that through the training, the injuries, and qualifying for the Olympics.”
It wasn’t just the fun of it that got Wallace into Aerials at the start, though. His family, in many ways, are Olympic royalty. “If it wasn’t for my parents, I wouldn’t be here talking to you about Aerials today”, he explains. “Mum and Dad both competed at the Olympics for GB in Freestyle skiing. Mum’s the most successful British World Cup skier in any Olympic discipline, and Dad was the British team coach for years.”
And the connections to the Olympics run deeper still. “I feel honoured to follow in the footsteps of a dynasty of GB Olympians on both sides of my family. My grandfather, Peter Curry (3000m Steeplechase, London 1948) and my uncle, Shaun Wallace (Track Cycling, Los Angeles 1984, and Atlanta 1996) as well as my parents all represented the nation. It’s an absolute privilege to be able to say I’ve done that too.”
TPE Curry (1921-2010) 70 years ago today was the opening ceremony of the London 1948 Olympic Games. My grandfather represented @TeamGB in the 3000m steeplechase, in doing so he started a family legacy of Olympians that has lasted 3 generations 👊🏼 #olympics #london1948 #legacy pic.twitter.com/pzsvAyyTVY
— Lloyd Wallace OLY (@Lloyd_Wallace) July 29, 2018
Family clearly plays an important part in Wallace’s life and career, and Lloyd’s father, Robin, is among his most enthusiastic supporters on social media. Does he still get input from them on his performance? “I do! I still get tips from them today. Even as a kid I was learning how to deal with the fear and the pressure, and for the first four years of my career, Mum and Dad coached me and my sister. We were a family team. The wealth of knowledge I’ve gained from them, it’s just crazy to think about.”
It might all have taken a different path, if Wallace had followed his original sporting successes further. “I competed at national level in gymnastics until the age of 13; it gave me the important acrobatic and physiological foundations I needed to succeed in other sports.” Amid the developments and the successes, though, there were hard moments. “It was awesome – although there are good and bad memories. Training 20 hours a week as a child was tough. I didn’t have much free time to try other sports or hang out with friends.” A change in schools at 13 led to a change of paths. “I wanted to try every other sport I possible could: rugby, tennis, cricket, so many more. It meant that gymnastics had to stop.”
As he talks more about his career and his growth as an athlete, it becomes clear that every step in Lloyd Wallace’s journey has led him to this point; a point that seems him in perhaps the form of his life, with the final competition of the season seeing him grab the second-best result of his career, a 9th placed finish at the 2021 World Cup Finals.
But for all the planning – the gymnastics and acrobatics foundations, the ski holidays from childhood, the family role models – the journey hasn’t been easy. Not only the injury; funding, too.
“Aerials can be overlooked as it’s seen as such a minor sport, and I’ve always had to cut corners in my training”, he explains.
But last month, the picture changed a touch, with UK Sport announcing a new tranche of funding into Aerials from the Beijing Support Fund. “It’s absolutely brilliant news for my season. It means I’ll be able to attend all the essential Olympic Qualifying events in the best shape possible, without worrying about how I’m going to afford it. And it’s had a big impact on my mindset too. I’ve always known I’ve got what it takes to push for the top spots, and it’s awesome to know that all the hard work I’ve put in is getting recognised back home, and that I’ve got the backing and the encouragement of the nation.”
That encouragement is only going to increase if, as expected, Wallace steps out to become a double Olympian this winter in Beijing, something he calls “an absolute privilege”.
And if all goes well, what’s the piece of advice that will be at the front of his mind in those seconds before he hurtles down the ramp towards the jump? “Well…I think my favourite tip from my parents was this: just before your competition jump, remember to smile. You’re there to have fun.”
Lloyd Wallace is having fun now. And he’s got the nation right behind him.
Lloyd Wallace Biography
- Born: 1995
- Discipline: Aerials
- Squad: World Cup Squad
- Hometown: Shaftesbury, UK
- Top Result Last Season: 9th, World Cup Final, 2021
- Top Career Result: 7th, World Cup Deer Valley, 2016
Header Image: Lloyd Wallace, 2020, Photo by Alexey Shabanov
Photo: Mia Brookes and Kirsty Muir hit a rail at SnoZone by Ben Kinnear
69 athletes competing across Freestyle, Freeski and Snowboard have been selected to represent Great Britain throughout the 2021/22 season.
The squads, which feature six athletes selected to represent the nation for the first time, will look to build on an outstanding 2020/21 season for British Freestyle, Freeski and Snowboard athletes which saw a number of exceptional results, including Charlotte Bankes’ Gold medal finish at the Snowboard Cross World Championships, Silver medals for Izzy Atkin at the X Games and for Kirsty Muir at the World Cup in Aspen, two Golds and a Silver for Mia Brookes in Europa Cup contests, Ollie Davies’ 4th placed finish at the World Championship Skicross in Idrefjall, Zoe Atkin’s World Cup silver and World Championship bronze medals, and three top-10 finishes for James Woods at the X Games in Aspen and the Aspen World Championships.
Athletes across Freestyle, Freeski and Snowboard were confirmed at a multi-discipline selection summit designed to ensure Britain is represented by more athletes with current and future podium hopes than ever before.
Announcing the Freestyle, Freeski and Snowboard Squad selections, Pat Sharples, GB Snowsport Head Coach, said:
“Never before has Britain had such a competitive field of athletes to select from. Despite the challenges faced by all of our athletes last season, they showed that they are capable of putting down world-leading results in some of the toughest competition environments around. Those results, and the squads we’re delighted to announce today, bode well for what promises to be a landmark year for snowsport.”
Gus Kenworthy, selected in the Freeski A Squad, said:
“It is always a privilege to be selected to represent your country, and I’m really looking forward to competing alongside some incredible athletes in all our Freestyle disciplines this year. With the Beijing Games coming up, we’re all super-focused on having the best seasons we can, and the support around the Freestyle squads means we’ve got a great chance to improve on what we achieved last season.”
Charlotte Bankes, Britain’s first Snowboarding World Champion, said:
“I can’t wait to get back out into competition this season as part of a group of incredible athletes representing Great Britain in the snowsports disciplines. Last year was obviously a real high point for me personally with great results for all of GB Snowsport, but neither I nor any of the team plan to take our foot off the gas at this stage. There’s some great talent across all of the squads with the best support around us we could hope for, and I’m sure we’ll be driving each other on towards our goals.”
FULL SQUAD LISTS
Moguls – World Cup Squad
Male: Will Feneley, Thomas Gerken Schofield, Matéo Jeannesson
Female: Leonie Gerken Schofield, Makayla Gerken Schofield, Skyler Nunn
Aerials – World Cup Squad
Ski Cross – World Cup Squad:
Oliver Davies, Emma Peters
Ski Cross – Europa Cup Squad:
Male: Gregory Baillie, Nicholas Bingham, Richard Goldsworthy, Sebastian Ison, Scott Johns, Owen Jones, Patrick Young
Female: Faith Davie, Alannah Lawrie, Claire Winthrop, Zoe Winthrop
Snowboard Cross – World Cup Squad
Male: Huw Nightingale
Female: Charlotte Bankes, Maisie Potter
Snowboard Cross – Europa Cup Squad
Male: Brandon Cain, Bryn Nicholas, Kyle Wise
Freestyle Snowboard – A Squad:
Male:Gabe Adams, Fin Bremner, Billy Cockrell, Glen Ironside*, Matt McCormick, Jamie Nicholls, Ethan Smith*
Female: Mia Brookes, Katie Ormerod
Freestyle Snowboard – B Squad:
Male: Koby Cook, Leon Drynan, Lenny Fenning, Kai Hamaini*, Teiva Hamaini*, Hayden Harvey-Smith, Max Jorge, Logan King, Charlie Lane, Lewis Moore, Liam Tynan, Siddhartha Ullah (Pipe)*
Female: Amber Fennell*
Freeski – A Squad:
Male: Tyler Harding, Gus Kenworthy (Pipe), Chris McCormick, James Woods
Female: Isabel Atkin, Zoe Atkin (Pipe), Connie Brogden (Pipe), Kirsty Muir, Madi Rowlands, Katie Summerhayes
Freeski – B Squad:
Male: Harris Booth, Rylan Evans, Mason Ferebee, Sam Gaskin (Pipe) Tom Greenway, Felix Klein, Jasper Klein, James Pouch, Justin Taylor-Tipton, Sam Ward (Pipe), Harry Wright
*denotes newly selected athletes
GB Snowsport today announce the team who will be competing at the 18th Freestyle World Ski Championships between 8th – 11th March in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The moguls and aerials teams go to Kazakhstan with some strong results with Makayla Gerken Schofield coming 6th at the Deer Valley World Cup, a career best result for her, Tom Gerken Schofield winning silver at the Krasnoyarsk World Cup last season and Lloyd Wallace who placed third in the Aerials Europa Cup in Airolo last weekend.
Moguls & Dual Moguls
Skyler Nunn – pending medical sign off
The World Championships will be broadcast by BBC on the red button from 8th March – follow GB Snowsport social media channels for updates