The athletes selected to race for the British Children’s Ski Team for the 2021/22 season have been confirmed

Following the Selection Meeting held on 14 January 2022, GB Snowsport is delighted to announce the U16 and U14 athletes who have been selected to race in the International Children’s Races as part of the British Children’s Ski Team for the 2021/22 season. These athletes were selected in accordance with the criteria outlined in the current GB Snowsport Selection Policy, and have been allocated to the following races:

Folgaria:

  • U16 Boys: Harry Black, William Freear, Emerson Proctor
  • U16 Girls: Maisie Blyth, Olivia Howeson, Hannah Skinner

Andorra:

  • U16 Boys: Daniel Phillips, Dante Adam Vidri
  • U16 Girls: Katie Saunders, Emily Turner
  • U14 Boys: Hamish Blyth
  • U14 Girls: Lucy Howeson

Slovenia:

  • U16 Boys: Freddy Carrick-Smith, Zak Carrick-Smith, George Wood
  • U16 Girls: Molly Butler, Leane Francis, Ffion Lewis
  • U14 Boys: Harrison Adkins, Ryan Faber
  • U14 Girls: Tia Freshwater, Isabella Sullivan

Header Image: Olivia Howeson racing at the 2019 GB Alpine Championships. Image Credit: Racer Ready

A packed week of action at the World Para Snow Sports Championships saw Britain take three medals from the opening days’ competitions, while elsewhere there were impressive results for Charlie Guest and Katie Summerhayes

Britain’s Para Snowsport bagged three medals in the opening stretch of the World Para Snow Sports Championships in Lillehammer, with Para Alpine sit skier Shona Brownlee marking her first World Championships appearance with a silver in Super-G, Para Alpine Paralympic medallist Millie Knight bagging Super-G bronze, and Para Snowboarder James Barnes-Miller also grabbing Dual Banked Slalom bronze.

Amid a festival of Para Snowsport at the famed site of the 1994 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Neil Simpson and Andrew Simpson took an impressive fourth place in Super-G, with Menna Fitzpatrick and Katie Guest coming in fifth in their own Super-G race.

In Snowboard Dual Banked Slalom, Nina Sparks marked an impressive World Championships debut by progressing to the quarter finals, losing out to eventual champion Lisa Bunschoten, while Ollie Hill took an exceptional fourth place, finishing just 1.08 seconds outside of the bronze medal position to Ben Tudhope. Jon-Allan Butterworth, also making his World Championships debut, finished less than three seconds outside of the quarter final qualification spots, Owen Pick was disqualified in his qualifying run, while Andy Macleod was eliminated at the same stage.

In the Para Nordic competitions, the pick of the results was Scott Meenagh’s 12th place in the Sprint competition, 14th place in Middle C and 15th in Middle, while Steve Arnold recovered from an injury scare in Middle C to return to competition just two days later with 19th (Sprint) and 17th (Middle) place finishes. Steve Thomas took 21st in Middle C.

On the Alpine World Cup circuit, Charlie Guest’s excellent season continued with a personal best 13th place finish at World Cup Schladming in her fourth top-20 finish in just seven races this season. Dave Ryding took 16th place at World Cup Wengen, to put a short run of DNFs behind him, while also taking fourth spot in the invitational night slalom at Crans Montana.

The Freeski World Cup in Font Romeu ended with a sixth place Slopestyle finish for Katie Summerhayes, her first top-10 since last year’s Silvaplana World Cup. In the men’s competition, Chris McCormick came in 24th. In Laax, Katie Ormerod took 11th place in the Freestyle Snowboard World Cup.

Finally, Nakiska’s dual Ski Cross World Cups saw Emma Peters and Ollie Davies both take top-20 finishes, with each coming in 19th spot in the first of the event’s two WC competitions.

The weekly GB Snowsport results summary is presented in association with Snow+Rock

Header Image: James Barnes-Miller at the World Para Snow Sports Championships in Lillehammer, January 2022. Photo: Gisle Johnson

A golden weekend saw Charlotte Bankes top back-to-back World Cup podiums, while Billy Major took gold in Germany. The Freestyle squad saw impressive results for Katie Ormerod and Kirsty Muir in the US, while in Norway final preparations are underway for the World Para Snow Sports Championships.

Charlotte Bankes’ run of outstanding form continued this weekend with a brace of World Cup victories in Krasnoyarsk. The reigning Snowboard Cross world champion notched her second and third World Cup gold medals of the season, and her fourth podium in five races, with a pair of dominant displays. Both races saw her hold off France’s Chloe Trespeuch in second place, with American Lindsey Jacobellis taking bronze on both occasions, and she now stands 99 points clear in the overall World Cup standings. Maisie Potter took 31st and 25th spots in the two races, while in the men’s competition, 20-year-old Huw Nightingale recorded an encouraging 25th place in Sunday’s race, his highest World Cup finish in his four WC level solo events to date.

In Mammoth, USA, Katie Ormerod’s Olympic preparations continued with fourth place in the Slopestyle World Cup, her highest WC placing since taking third in Calgary World Cup in February 2020. Her score of 72.32 was enough to hold off Hailey Langland in fifth, with Japan’s Kokomo Murase taking third spot. In the Freeski competition, Kirsty Muir notched another top-10 finish coming in fifth in an extremely strong field. The result gives the 17-year-old back-to-back top-10 finishes for the first time in her WC career, while Connie Brogden continued her return to competitive action with an encouraging top-20 spot, finishing up in 16th place in Slopestyle and 23rd in Halfpipe, with Katie Summerhayes taking 13th place in Slopestyle.

Sticking in Mammoth, Chris McCormick banked another top-20 finish with 19th place in Freeski Slopestyle, with Tyler Harding coming in 23rd. James Woods saw both his runs end in crashes, leaving him outside the WC points positions. Sam Ward finished 31st in Freeski Halfpipe, with Sam Gaskin taking 33rd spot in the same event.

In Alpine, Billy Major grabbed a pair of Europa Cup podiums with silver and gold in Berchtesgaden, Germany. In the first of the two races, Laurie Taylor was leading the field by a significant margin going into the turn, but was unfortunate to crash out on his second run.

In Adelboden, Dave Ryding experienced a tough day’s racing at the site of his return to Alpine WC podiums last year. Well-placed after a solid first run, his second run saw him straddle a gate to record a DNF. Charlie Guest, meanwhile, continued her fine run of World Cup form with another top-20 finish, this time securing 18th place in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, just slightly over 0.5s outside of the top-10.

Mani Cooper took silver in the Nordic Combined Austria Cup by winning the mass-start Cross Country, and in Moguls, the high point of back-to-back World Cups in Tremblant, Canada, was a 22nd place finish for Makayla Gerken Schofield on a weekend that also saw Leonie Gerkan Schofield, Will Feneley, and Skyler Nunn bank top-30 spots.

In Norway, preparations are now well underway for the World Para Snow Sports Championships in Lillehammer, where British hopes for success are pinned on the largest ever British squad attending the competition. Events get underway on Wednesday 13 January.

The weekly GB Snowsport results summary is presented in association with Snow+Rock

Header Image: Charlotte Bankes on the podium at Krasnoyarsk World Cup. Photo Credit: Alekseev Semyon

She may be a part of British skiing royalty, but in between ecology classes Alpine skier Reece Bell is out to make her own name in the sport

At the highest levels, Alpine skiing can be a particularly insular sport, with an athlete’s ability to focus, cut out the noise, and dial the margin for error down to its smallest possible setting. So, there’s something particularly enlightening about discovering what occupies an athlete’s mind in the time they’re off the slopes.

In Reece Bell’s case, it’s also a reminder of just how young some of the most exciting talent in the sport actually is. “The main thing that keeps me occupied throughout the season is schoolwork”, she explains. The Denver University undergraduate is close to finishing a degree in Ecology, which means “some pretty challenging classes, and hours of study every week”. And where she certainly shares some of the characteristics of a typical university student – “during my breaks from school, I like to catch up on sleep!” – in others, she’s a different prospect altogether.

After all. the 20-year-old has been Slalom and Giant Slalom racing for three years now and broke onto the European Cup circuit last year with a slew of podiums at FIS, National Junior Race, National Championships, Universities and now NorAm level behind her.

To many fans of British skiing, Reece Bell’s name carries with it a certain familiarity. As the daughter of four-time Olympian, Martin Bell, she has at times felt the weight of the family name.

“When I was younger, I felt a lot more pressure from being ‘Martin Bell’s daughter’, but I believe I’m starting to come into my own now.” Was that family connection helpful, though? She’s unequivocal in her answer. “My family has been incredibly important in my ski racing career”, she says. “I may not have gotten into the sport if not for dad and uncle (Graham, a five-time Olympic skier) inspiring me to follow in their tracks.”

And what does following in their tracks mean, for Reece? “My hope is to continue the Bell legacy. But also, I want to be recognised as someone who has put their own time and care into the sport to get to where I am today. And to where I want to get to in the future.”

The pace of Bell’s development so far has impressed many observers, and she’s firmly part of a generation of young female athletes breaking through in Alpine skiing around the world. It’s something she’s very aware of, having grown up within the sport.

“The next generation of female Alpine skiers has really started to present itself, especially in World Cup slalom. It’s exciting for me to see the younger athletes stepping it up, because they’ve got new techniques and ideas that they’re bringing into the sport. It inspires me to raise my level of skiing as well, especially for girls I’ve grown up competing against.”

As a fully-fledged member of the British Alpine squad, but one with two feet planted in the US through family, upbringing and education, Bell admits to finding it difficult to model her approach on other skiers in the British squad. She does, though, namecheck the training she’s done with Charlie Guest, from whom she’s “learned a lot about balancing fitness with skiing and maximising recovery”, developments which she recognises are crucial to the next steps in her own career.

“I’ve spent most of my career racing in the US,” she says, “where there is speed and skilled skiing, but just not the same number of competitors at that level as you see in Europe.” Her first steps at Europa Cup level served as an eye-opener. “I knew it would be high level racing, but I wasn’t expecting it to be that challenging. I was shocked by the depth of talent in Europe. I know that the step up to Europa Cup and World Cup level will require a big adjustment in my skiing, but I’m excited to compete on the surfaces and experience that top level racing.”

For now, Bell’s focused on making sure she develops her all-round game, one step at a time. “In the past I’ve set result goals, or points goals, but I don’t think it’s that helpful for me to keep those as a primary goal”, she explains. “If I’m skiing fast the points and results will follow. But for now, I’m working on staying patient and focusing on the skiing, not the numbers.”

She pauses, before the competitive instinct breaks through for just a second.

“That being said, it would be cool to win a NorAm!”

Reece Bell Biography

  • Born: 2001
  • Discipline: Alpine
  • Squad: Europa Cup Squad
  • Hometown: Eagle, Colorado

Note: Subsequent to this interview taking place, Reece Bell made her World Cup debut in Lienz, Austria, before unfortunately sustaining an ACL injury in training. Reece is now fully focused on her recovery and return to competition.

Header Image: Reece Bell on World Cup debut in Lienz, December 2021. GEPA pictures/ Armin Rauthner

Amid the Christmas and New Year festivities, British skiers and snowboarders were putting down some impressive results in the lead-in to an Olympic and Paralympic year

As the clock ticked over into 2022, 18-year-old Freeskier, Zoe Atkin, was adding to her already impressive body of results with a pair of top-10 finishes in Calgary World Cup. Her first, an eighth-place finish, came after she was forced to withdraw from the final having qualified in fifth after sustaining a cracked helmet in training. Having successfully come through required head injuries protocol assessments, she returned to land sixth place in the year’s first World Cup competition having qualified in third. The two results continue Atkin’s streak of top-10 World Cup finishes which now extend back to her very first World Cup competition in 2018, and includes two podium finishes in Copper Mountain and Aspen in 2019 and 2021.

Calgary also marked Connie Brogden’s return to snow for the 20-year-old’s first World Cup competitions since March, landing 20th and 22nd place Halfpipe finishes. Katie Ormerod took 23rd place in Snowboard Slopestyle and Sam Ward a brace of 26th place Freeski Halfpipe finishes rounded out British results in the Canadian resort.

Three-time Cross-Country Olympian, Andrew Musgrave, delivered one of his finest results in recent years at the third stage of the Tour de Ski in Oberstdorf, Germany, on New Year’s Eve, with a fourth-place finish in the 15km free, which saw him miss out on a podium place by just 1.6s.

In Alpine, Laurie Taylor secured World Cup points in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy, with an excellent 25th-place finish amid an extremely strong field. Dave Ryding had seemed on course for another tilt at the top positions but was unfortunate to ski out in the second run having come through the first run in fourth place. Charlie Guest saw similar misfortune at World Cup Lienz in Austria after an excellent first run that saw her move into 14th place. Reece Bell, meanwhile, delivered an excellent World Cup debut finishing just 0.45s outside of qualification for the second round before suffering the agony of an ACL tear in training.

Britain’s leading Telemark skier, Jasmin Taylor, got her season back underway with third and fourth place finishes at the Meiringen National Championships in Switzerland. World Cup competition in Telemark resumes from mid-January in Samoens, France.

And finally, off the slopes, Para Alpine skier, Shona Brownlee, was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours lists, with her nomination citing her as an exemplary ambassador for the Royal Air Force. Brownlee was recently named in the British squad for the World Para Snow Sports Championships in Lillehammer, Norway, which get underway on 8 January.

The weekly GB Snowsport results summary is presented in association with Snow+Rock

Header Image: Andrew Musgrave, GEPA pictures/ Daniel Schoenherr

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.

Meanwhile, the Para Nordic squad were in action in Canmore, Canada, with Scott Meenagh (7th) and Steve Arnold (9th) both securing top-10 finishes in the Para Nordic World Cup.

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

British athletes put a stamp on the new season with medal-winning performances across three continents

2021 Snowboard Cross World Champion, Charlotte Bankes, built on her superb 2020/21 season with a silver medal-winning performance in the discipline’s first World Cup race of the season in Secret Garden, Beijing. The competition, which acted as a test event for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, saw Bankes come in second behind Czechian Eva Samkova, and ahead of Italy’s Michela Moioli, having come through the qualification round in third position.

Maisie Potter, who also travelled as part of the British squad, came in just outside of the qualification spots for the final with a 29th place finish.

In their first competition weekend of the season, Britain’s Para Alpine squad returned an astonishing 10 medals from competitions in Canada and Austria.

Sit-skiers Shona Brownlee and Alex Slegg both delivered outstanding performances in the Nor-Am Cup in Panorama, Canada. Brownlee finished the weekend with a gold and two silver medals, while Slegg achieved an outstanding bronze in an incredibly strong men’s sit-ski field.

In Resterhohe, Austria, the Para Alpine Europa Cup meet saw Menna Fitzpatrick and guide Katie Guest secure two gold medals, Neil Simpson and guide Andrew Simpson bring home two silvers, and Millie Knight and Brett Wild finishing up with two bronze medals, the squad laying down a serious marker ahead of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.

In Alpine racing, Charlie Guest continued her fine start to the season with a 23rd place finish and more World Cup points at the Killington World Cup in the USA. Meanwhile, Britain’s Alpine FIS Squad put on a demonstration of their potential, with Tom Hudson and Sarah Woodward finishing in top spot in the men’s and women’s FIS races in Kaabdalis, Sweden, and Ted Slade and Jess Anderson banking silver and bronze medals respectively.

The weekend also saw the start of the Nordic season, with Britain’s Andrew Musgrave banking a 16th place finish and Andrew Young 32nd in the 15km F Pursuit at the Cross Country World Cup, in Ruka, Finland.

The weekly GB Snowsport results summary is presented in association with Snow+Rock

Header Image: Image shows Michela Moioli (ITA) and Charlotte Bankes (GBR), Snowboard Cross World Championships, Idre, Sweden – Feb 2021. Photo: GEPA pictures/ Daniel Goetzhaber

British athletes lit up the Freestyle World Cup in Stubai, while the Alpine squads tasted success around the world

The Freeski World Cup Stubai 2021 saw British athletes lay down a significant marker for the coming season, with Chris McCormick landing a career-best seventh place in the men’s competition, and Kirsty Muir just missing out on a podium position as she finished fourth in the women’s event.

Muir, who at 17-years-old was among the youngest competitors in the field, finished marginally behind Norwegian, Johanne Killi, including two perfect back-to-back 9s, to record her second-best World Cup finish following her stunning second place run at World Cup Aspen in March and a big step up from her previous visit to Stubai, which saw her finish in tenth position.

McCormick, meanwhile, banked his first ever World Cup top-10 place with his previous best result a 19th place finish at the Silvaplana World Cup in March. In a strong field, McCormick’s score of 78.18 from a run including a switch 1440 and switch 12 up top was enough to hold off the challenge of Sweden’s Jesper Tjader, who finished .08 of a point behind him in eighth position.

James Woods and Katie Summerhayes also banked World Cup points in the men’s and women’s competitions respectively, Woods finishing in 22nd place, and Summerhayes in 29th.

Freeski Head Coach, Jamie Matthew, praised Muir and McCormick’s performances, noting that “Muir’s technicality and consistency were top notch this week”, and McCormick “finally getting the chance to showcase the depth of tricks and ability he has, with a barrage of technical rail wizardry on the lower sections”.

On the Alpine circuit, Charlie Guest’s first World Cup weekend of the 2021/22 season saw her bank her second ever top-20 finish on the World Cup circuit in Sunday’s race, after a frustrating day on Saturday ended up with a DNQ. After a brilliant first run from bib 32 on Sunday saw her move into 21st position ahead of the second run, Guest went one better ending up in 20th spot, a result only bettered by her 16th place finish in Are in March.

Elsewhere, 14-year-old Mia Brookes dominated the Women’s Slopestyle competitions in Landgraaf this weekend finishing in top spot in both the FIS and European Cup competitions. Those results continue Brookes’ sensational form from last season, which saw her record five podium finishes in six competitions, including two European Cup top spots in Davos and Leysin.

Dave Ryding’s first FIS level competition in more than six years saw him land top spot in Kaabdalis, while in Junior Alpine competitions 20-year-old Victoria Palla recorded two podium finishes in Livigno, with first and second places on Thursday and Friday.

The weekly GB Snowsport results summary is presented in association with Snow+Rock

Header Image: NEUSTIFT,AUSTRIA,20.NOV.21 – FREE SKI, FREESTYLE SKIING – FIS Freeski Slopestyle World Cup, men. Image shows Chris McCormick (GBR). Photo: GEPA pictures/ Patrick Steinerr

the second major alpine weekend of the season saw billy major return to the slopes, and charlie raposo take home the first world cup points of his career

Despite missing out on the knock-out round by just 3/100ths of a second, Charlie Raposo’s promising start to the season continued with a 17th place finish in the Parallel Giant Slalom World Cup race in Lech / Zuers, Austria. The result, which saw Raposo bank the first World Cup points of his career, came after he shaved an enormous 25 places off his previous visit to Lech / Zuers in November 2020.

Fellow Alpine World Cup squad member, Billy Major, experienced his first taste of Parallel GS at World Cup level coming in in 49th position, with a net time of 47.54.

The next races in the Alpine calendar will see Charlie Guest compete at the Levi World Cup on the weekend of 20-21 November, while the Cross Country season gets underway with FIS races in Beitostolen, Norway, from 19-21 November. The Freestyle Snowboard squad will be in Europa Cup action in Landgraaf, Netherlands on 19 November, while the Freeski World Cup in Stubai gets underway on the same day.

The weekly GB Snowsport results summary is presented in association with Snow+Rock

Header Image: LECH,AUSTRIA,14.NOV.21 – ALPINE SKIING – FIS World Cup Lech/ Zuers, parallel giant slalom, men. Image shows Charlie Raposo (GBR). Photo: GEPA pictures/ Thomas Bachun

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