Photo by Matt McCormick
My best party trick is… “A Backflip.”
The geekiest thing about me is… “I’m currently doing a University degree.”
Tell me you’re a snowsports athlete without telling me you’re a snowsports athlete… “I can comfortably wear 7 layers of clothing without feeling claustrophobic.”
A shower thought I had recently… “Do dogs know that they’re dogs?”
When I’m not training or on snow you’ll find me… “Playing my Ukulele.”
Guilty pleasure… “Musicals”
Best travel story… “I’ll write my memoirs one day because there are too many to list off.”
Biggest fail… “Going to get my hair done and walking out looking like a yellow highlighter.”
Typical Sunday… “Snowboarding”
Two truths and a lie… “I was a Cheerleader, I’ve won 11 World Cup medals, I can see ghosts.”
I won’t shut up about… “Interior design.”
The pandemic has taught me… “To make the most out of every opportunity and never take things for granted.”
GB Snowsport today announce the team who will be selected to compete at the 2021 FIS Freestyle Ski, Snowboard and Freeski Junior World Championships in the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk.
Moguls – 21st – 22nd March
Ski Cross – 26th March
Snowboard Cross – 23rd March
Ski Cross Athletes selected but not attending due to Covid travel restrictions
Freestyle Snowboard BA/SS selected but not attending due to Covid travel restrictions
GB Snowsport is pleased to announce the squad which has been selected to compete at the 2021 FIS Freeski and Freestyle Snowboard World Championships in Aspen, USA from 10 March to 16 March
The squad includes three World Championship medallists, four World Cup winners, three X-Games medallists, six Olympians and one Winter Youth Olympic medallist.
Members of the freeski team, who are already out in Aspen training this week, include reigning Slopestyle World Champion James Woods, Izzy Atkin who won a ski slopestyle silver medal at the X Games in Aspen last month and Gus Kenworthy, an Olympic Silver medallist, and World Cup winner.
The snowboarders include 2020 Crystal Globe winner Katie Ormerod who has come back from injury, who in her last competition in Kreischberg came 8th and Gabe Adams who just came first at the Gotschen Europa Cup Big Air.
Sophie, Olympic Team Manager: “After a difficult season with changes to the competition calendar, we’re really happy to be able to compete in Aspen at the World Champs. A huge thanks goes to the organisers and FIS for helping make it happen. It’s been a difficult year for everyone, however we go into the Champs with a strong team, who are looking forward to flying the GB flag.”
GB Snowsport squad:
Freeski – Slopestyle & Big Air
Izzy Atkin – pending medical sign off
Freeski – Halfpipe
Freestyle Snowboard – Slopestyle & Big Air
The World Championships will be broadcast by BBC on the red button from 10th March – follow GB Snowsport social media channels for updates
Photo: James Woods Credit: X Games.
Following landing the top spot on the podium in Ordino Arcalis, at the Andorra leg of the Freeride World Tour, a couple of weeks ago Cody Bramwell chatted to GB Snowsport about his move to compete for Great Britain, the transferable skills between freestyle and freeride and the future goals he’s striving to achieve on the horizon.
How does it feel to have won the Andorra leg of Freeride World Tour?
To be honest it feels pretty good. It’s been a dream of mine for quite some time and to pull it off at the first contest of the season also relieves a bit of pressure for the cut. Which is always a stress, as the cut for the final and next year is almost at 50%.
How were you feeling ahead of that massive backflip on your first run?
I was feeling pretty good actually, I honestly wasn’t that stressed about it. I had spoken to some friends that ski that had done it just before me and they gave me some good input on the take-off and landing situation!
What’s the relationship between freeride and freestyle for you, are the skills transferable between the two?
Yeah for sure! Definitely the way freeriding is going now, it’s pretty hard to win a contest without a spin or flip etc. And I think the freestyle flavour in freeriding is only going to grow.
Do you compete in any Slopestyle or Big Air events, or are you freeride through and through?
Not really, I’ve always loved park though. I always rode a lot of park growing up. The thing is I skied until I was maybe like 13-14. Competed in moguls actually, but also a bit of slopestyle. And then switched to snowboarding and got really into the freeriding aspect from there on.
Having previously competed for Sweden, what made you switch to competing for Great Britain?
The thing was I was always planning to compete for Great Britain on the tour, but getting my passport and everything sorted took a little longer than I expected! One of the main reasons for that decision is was the opportunity it would give me. Just feels like it could benefit me in the long run as its such a larger country and I’m the only Brit that competes on the tour at the moment.
And its fun representing Great Britain! I’ve already got heaps of messages, they really support their own, its cool!
I feel like I also had to give this one to my dad, who is English, and as we grew up in Sweden it was time for him to see his roots come out a bit!
Now you’re a FWT winner what’s next on the horizon for you?
The focus is for sure taking the overall title one day! And that’s still the focus for this year obviously as I have that win in the bag now. So just gotta keep at it and stay hungry!
Watch Cody’s run on BBC Sport.
My best party trick is… “I can backflip with an open bottle in my hand and not spill any.”
The geekiest thing about me is… “I’m obsessed with Nordic gods and Vikings.”
Tell me you’re a snowsports athlete without telling me you’re a snowsports athlete… “I have a coffee table covered in lift passes under the glass.”
A shower thought I had recently… “Wearing one black and one white glove and one black and one white binding (to match my outfit).”
Best dance move… “Woah or gun lean 😂”
When I’m not training or on snow you’ll find me… “In the gym, on my motocross bike or cooking.”
Guilty pleasure… “Buying jewellery.”
Best travel story… “Using my GB gold card as an ID and getting upgraded to first class.”
Biggest fail… “Accidentally skating into a glass door.”
Typical Sunday… “A small lie in, wake up, eat breakfast, watch some tv, have a stretch, eat lunch, play some football, go for a skate, sauna, then make dinner, watch a movie, go to sleep.”
Weirdest gift I’ve given or received… “Been given a nerf gun at the age of 17.”
Two truths and a lie… “My birthday is on Valentine’s Day, I wear 4 rings on each hand, I have shares in apple.”
I won’t shut up about… “Liverpool’s season so far and peaky blinders (I’ve watched it 19 times).”
The pandemic has taught me… “To never ever take anything for granted, and take every opportunity that arises.”
When was the last time you thought about your progression towards growing into the person you want to be? How long has it been since you’ve taken stock of your successes and setbacks on that journey? Do you know exactly what support you need to excel and reach your personal goals? At the Chill Foundation we work with youth from marginalized identities and backgrounds in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and a growing number of European countries to identify and ignite their personal progression through experiential learning opportunities and the power of boardsports.
Chill is a positive youth development program where boardsports become a vehicle for empowerment. Revolving around a core value-driven curriculum, Chill programs consist of experiential learning activities, reflection, and discussion, paired with board sport lessons. Chill’s six core values (respect, courage, persistence, patience, pride, responsibility) provide youth with a foundation and framework for learning and growth, supported and enhanced through on-board progression and adult mentorship. Chill removes all barriers to accessing boardsports by providing youth with everything they need to get after it, at absolutely no cost. New skills gained through boardsport progression and core-value exploration are then directly applied to everyday life, challenging youth to step out of their comfort zone – both on and off their board.
Everything we do at Chill revolves around providing experiences that lead to learning. In our everyday lives we take part in all kinds of experiences, but it is the intentional selection of experiences that lead to growth. Therefore at Chill we strive to design and select our experiences with that intention in mind. What is an experience at Chill? Doing an icebreaker at the beginning of program, connecting with new people, taking part in the core value activity for the day, learning how to snowboard, skateboard, surf, or stand-up paddleboard!
Challenge by choice defines our culture. It’s all about creating a community that is emotionally safe for all participants. Taken literally, participants are presented with challenges and are given the choice to accept at the level they feel comfortable. It’s not a yes or no, it’s a how and a what. How do you choose to accept this challenge? What do you feel comfortable with?
Every single day at Chill, we challenge youth to step outside their comfort zone and into their growth zone. From one program day to the next, as youth engage in new experiences and overcome challenges and fears, their comfort zone expands. Pretty soon, what was their growth zone is now a part of their comfort zone. And their growth zone is now new territory, which a few weeks ago may have been in their danger zone. It’s all about incremental growth, knowing personal limits, and having the support to make that choice.
Challenge by choice is introduced on day one and revisited every day of program to ensure that youth understand the power of this choice – at Chill and in their daily lives. Through personal goal setting, positive encouragement, and the elimination of imposed completion standards, challenge by choice becomes a cultural norm and a guiding principle for individual growth and achievement.
We know that the global pandemic has had, and continues to have, outsized effects on the communities Chill serves around the world. We have heard directly from our agency partners and the youth we jointly serve that many kids are struggling with a lack of structure, a lack of movement in their lives, and real anxiety about a very uncertain future. These feelings of restriction and the associated negative mental health outcomes are exacerbated for youth that have experienced trauma in their lives. Chill is adjusting our curriculum to address the needs of our participants, ensuring that our programs are a strong link in the overall chain of support that our youth so desperately need.
Chill is looking forward to 2021 as a year of growth and recovery. We are committed to rapidly expanding our programs in Europe, including the registration and launch of Chill UK. For twenty-five years we have harnessed the power of positive youth development paired with boardsports and we are looking forward to being an integral part of young people’s recovery from a challenging 2020.
Chill relies on donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations around the world. We are currently registered as a non-profit, or registration is in process, in 10 countries, with several more to get underway shortly. Please contact Chill to learn more about donating in your specific country. Chill also frequently has mentoring and board service opportunities available depending on country-specific and program needs. Please follow Chill Foundation on social media and visit www.chill.org for up-to-date information and opportunities to contribute to our impactful work.
Thank you for your interest and support! YOU can be a part of Chill’s bright future!
You were the first action sports star to come out in 2015 – that must have been a scary prospect for you?
I think being in the closet is pretty scary for everybody because as human beings we are all afraid of rejection. I used to worry about everything that I may lose and didn’t think about what I might gain. I knew I was torturing myself holding onto a lie but I worried that by coming out and being openly “different” from everybody else in my sport I was going to lose friends, sponsors and income and essentially lose my grip on the sport I was so in love with. Obviously that’s not what happened and I was very pleasantly surprised when the reaction was overwhelmingly supportive.
What advice would you give to someone struggling with their sexuality?
I would tell anybody struggling with their sexuality to be kind to themselves. It’s a tough journey trying to figure out who we are and when you feel as though your very being goes against the grain and makes you different then you can often beat youself up about it. I would encourage anybody in that position to try not to worry about what other people are going to say or how anybody else is going to react. It’s more important that we all accept ourselves first and foremost. I know it sounds corny but I remember saying to myself “I’m gay and that’s ok” over and over again and really allowing it to sink in that yeah it is ok. Coming out is a very personal journey and nobody can tell you how or when to do it but I’ve never met anybody who was living their life out and proud that wished they had stayed closeted a little bit longer. The feeling of taking that step and finally getting to be myself for the first time was the most exhilarating, liberating and freeing thing I’ve ever experienced. There’s a quote by Dr. Seuss that I really love that goes: “be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind” and that pretty much sums up my thoughts on the subject. Be you. If anybody has a problem with it then screw them, you don’t need them in your life. The people that really matter, the ones that stick around, are going to love you all the more for living your truth. Good luck!
Were you surprised by the reaction of fans after that kiss?
Initially I was surprised but I actually think that kiss was kind of my purpose at the 2018 Games. I know that sounds crazy but I think it was a really important moment for gay representation in sports. It was such a nonchalant, insignificant, kiss in many ways – a kind of “hi” or “bye” kiss you share with a partner without thinking twice about it – but because the Olympics are on the World’s stage it was a moment that was seen around the globe and that does a lot to normalize same sex relationships and gay representation in sport. I think someone else had to explain it to me for me to realize the impact it had and, although it was not something that was planned or thought about, it made me feel proud.
Did you see your ski performance improve after you came out as you weren’t hiding anything anymore?
I remember being really nervous coming into the season the year after I came out. I had just had a bunch of media exposure and my profile sky-rocketed and there were a lot of new eyeballs on me and I was nervous that I may not live up to the hype so to speak. On top of that I hadn’t trained on snow all summer or fall because I was recovering from a knee surgery. I showed up at the first event of the year, the Dew Tour, and really just felt a huge weight off my shoulders because I was competing as my whole self. My mom and people at the bottom held up rainbow flags and cheered for me and I felt really loved and supported. I ended up winning the event and went on to podium at every event I competed in that season including X Games medals in every ski discipline. Nothing had changed with my preparation, my training, my equipment, etc. I was just, for the first time, skiing as me.
What can be done within the snowsports community to encourage more inclusivity?
I think we need to watch the language that gets thrown around in all sports but definitely in snowsports. People often don’t even realize that the things they’re saying are damaging to others so that’s definitely a good place to start.
You partook in a charity bike ride for Aids Lifecycle, tell us more about this cause?
The AIDS/ Lifecycle is a 545-mile bicycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that happens over the course of a week every June. Although it was physically one of the most demanding things I’ve ever done it was a really rewarding experience and the whole thing is a fundraiser to fight HIV/AIDS and help those affected by the disease. Each rider is personally responsible for getting people to donate to their campaign and for the 2019 ride I raised over $250,000 and set their record which I was very happy about.
We caught up with GB Snowsport Freeski athlete Kirsty Muir after she landed her first ever Dub 12 on snow a few weeks back at Prime Park in Stubai, Austria.
By Matt McCormick, Freestyle Snowboarder
I started skiing when I was about six at my local dryslope (Bearsden Ski and Snowboard Club). At the time my older brother, Danny, was the only one of my siblings tall enough to fit the rental snowboards at the club. I was always keen to do whatever he did, so I traded skis for a snowboard as soon as I was big enough.
I really enjoy the freedom that comes along with snowboarding. There are very few restrictions attached, you can wear what you want and ride how you like, it’s all an expression of your own personal style. The moments I enjoy most are when it’s a sunny, spring day and I’m lapping the park with a good group of friends!
When people ask what are the most important attributes to have, I would say it’s important to be determined. You’ll spend plenty of time falling over, if you get into freestyle snowboarding, so it’s important to be able to pick yourself back up and give it another go!
Over the past few seasons I’ve started using “box breathing” to help calm me down before my contest runs which I’ve found pretty helpful. Aside from that, before an event, I just try to keep my focus on doing my best, as long as I know I put all my effort into the run I can walk away happy, regardless of my result.
In terms of physical attributes its helpful for freestyle snowboarding if you’ve got a good spring and are light on your feet. Many snowboard tricks involve quick movements so having fast feet really helps.
In terms of riding I’m really inspired by people like Arthur Long and Jake Kuzyk, I’m a big fan of their style. I also get inspired by other riders on the GB Freestyle team like Billy Morgan and my little brother Chris, they’re really good fun to ride with which motivates me to push my riding to the next level.
Outside of snowboarding I mostly take inspiration from other action sports people like Danny MacAskill or Felipe Gustavo.
To anyone looking to get into snowboarding I’d say head down to your local dryslope/snowdome and just get stuck in! The UK snowboarding community is very supportive so don’t be afraid to ask locals for some help on specific tricks, I’m sure they’d be happy to help!