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

The snowsport season got off to flying start this weekend, with Alpine star Alex Tilley equalling her career best World Cup result in Soelden, Austria, and four British athletes picking up FIS ranking points in Chur, Switzerland.

Racing in Bib 40, Tilley laid down a marker at the traditional season opener in Soelden, coming home in 13th place and equalling her previous career-best GS World Cup finish in Courchevel in 2017. Going into the second run in 24th position, she then posted the fifth fastest second run of the competition putting her comfortably in the top-15 and just 0.9 seconds outside of a top-10 finish in her first race in the new GB Snowsport x Fusalp Alpine team kits.

Joining her in flying the British flag in Austria, Charlie Raposo got some valuable race minutes in the Men’s GS, coming 41st in a strong field.

The Freestyle Ski and Snowboard squads were also in action over the weekend in windy conditions at the Big Air World Cup in Chur, Switzerland. James “Woodsy” Woods and Chris McCormick landed 26th and 31st placed finishes in the Men’s Freeski competition, while Katie Summerhayes finished in a strong 18th place in the Women’s event. Billy Cockrell’s 43rd place result in the Men’s Freestyle Snowboard event rounded out the weekend’s action for British athletes as the winter season got back underway.

Header Image: SOELDEN,AUSTRIA,23.OCT.21 – ALPINE SKIING – FIS World Cup season opening. Image shows the rejoicing of Alex Tilley (GBR). Photo: GEPA pictures/ Thomas Bachun

What’s your usual diet like while training during the off-season? 

“I find it much easier to maintain a more regular diet during the off-season. Unlike in winter months, training sessions are more structured and easier to plan for, making it more achievable to create a complimenting diet plan. I’m not too strict, but I tend to target higher protein foods whenever possible, usually aiming for three meals with 30g of protein and 3 snacks with 10g of protein a day.”

What’s your favourite quick and easy healthy meal/snack? 

“I really enjoy mixed nuts/trail mix, smoothies and peanut butter and jam sandwiches.”

What’s your typical workout routine in the off-season?

“If I’m not injured, I’ll try to get 3-4 gym sessions in a week. These mostly focus on lower body exercises, particularly single leg stability and balance, though I do always include some upper body and core exercises. Workouts typically include back squats, single leg Romanian dead lifts, single leg squats, split squats and hopping/jumping circuits (ft. hurdles, bosu balls and boxes). Sets/reps depend on whether I’m going through a block of building muscle or looking to increase power but often I end up doing round 3 sets of 5 reps.”

What’s your favourite exercise and why? 

“I really enjoy doing the hopping circuits. You get to be a bit creative when you’re setting them up, so it usually feels a bit more like a challenge you’ve set yourself rather than and exercise you need to do.”

Any tips for someone wanting to get active? 

“I think the most important thing is to find a sport/activity that’s right for you! Some people love being in the gym and seeing the progression they can make, but plenty don’t and there are so many other ways to keep fit. I recently started bouldering which has been really good fun. It’s very social, you can go along in a group or just put some headphones in and do a quick 30 min session yourself. Some other summer activities I enjoy are skateboarding, hill walking and paddle boarding.” 

What’s your usual diet like while training during the off-season? 
“Lots of fruit and veg. I love avocado and egg on bagels. I love Salmon, pasta, curry…. I pretty much eat whatever I fancy, but I also know to be sensible and eat healthy.” 

What’s your favourite quick and easy healthy meal/snack? 
“Uncooked Broccoli.”

What’s your typical workout routine in the off-season?
“In the summer I enjoy cycling with my dad, we try to do 100 miles every week, either one big day or a over a few evenings and I love skateboarding too at Graystone. I have recently started to do weekly strength and conditioning classes at the EIS in Manchester and I also join some acro sessions at GAS with Ross after school. I’m really looking forward to surfing again soon too.”

What’s your favourite exercise and why? 
“Snowboarding and skating, but when I’m at home more over the summer I love Cycling. I love being out in the countryside.”

Any tips for someone wanting to get active? 
“Choose an activity you enjoy doing most and try to do it a few times every week.”

Making sure the athletes are well looked after extends across the whole performance team, no least to Ali Robb, Lead Physio for Ski and Snowboard Slopestyle, Big Air and Half-Pipe. Ali is an expert in the field of Physiotherapy with an impressive career in snowsport, so we know our freestyle athletes are in good hands.

What’s your background with physiotherapy?

“I was introduced to physiotherapy in my late teens due to suffering a hamstring injury which put me out of training and competing in my sport. I thought it would be a really interesting and rewarding job helping others in a similar position to get back to full fitness. I got the entrance qualifications and went straight from school to train in Aberdeen to become a Chartered Physiotherapist.

“I am lucky enough to have worked in snow-sport in some capacity for most of my career. I started working with the National alpine teams on a voluntary basis, expenses paid only, and I did this part-time for 5 years. I worked for over 10 years with the Ski rescue patrol in Cairngorm and a winter season doing the same in New Zealand.  Working also in physio clinics, immersed me in the world of snowsport injuries, and gave me experiences that have been invaluable in my career. With the introduction of the National Lottery in the 90s and the creation of the National Institutes of Sport, there was injection of money to develop high performance sport, snowsport being one of those supported. I began working with half-pipe snowboard in 2002 and have supported Snowboard and then Freeski since then at numerous training camps and world events including three Olympic Winter Games, allowing me to meet and learn from many knowledgeable people along the way.

“Working in sport it is important to have a good knowledge and skill set to diagnose and treat injuries effectively. Having a good understanding of the demands the sport places on the body physically, physiologically and mentally is crucial in order to build preventative and rehabilitation programmes. Understanding the culture of the sport you are working in is of equal importance in order to build good working relationships with athletes and coaches and to allow you to be effective in your role.”

What are your main activities as a physiotherapist? How do you support the athletes and help them reach their goals?

“I am lead physio for Ski/Snowboard Slopestyle, Big Air and Half-Pipe. Prevention of injuries is our biggest and most important challenge. Every spring we profile the athletes and from this establish baselines, strengths and weaknesses and athlete programmes are made from the findings and then periodically re-assessed and adjusted as necessary. I work closely with the acrobatic/gymnastic coach and the strength and conditioning coaches. Regular communication between us and the athletes is key.

“I also (in a normal year) travel to many training camps and competitions, and where I cannot go, myself and the team managers organise other physiotherapy support for the athletes and I communicate closely with that physio so that important information is shared. Over the years I have been able to develop quite a network around the world, a couple of which we use regularly and have proved to be invaluable! The best scenario is that we as physios help prepare the athletes to be as physically ready as they can be, to enjoy a good session of training or competing. Often there are small aches and pains that we can help ease and manage with treatment and further injury is prevented. Occasionally, larger injuries occur and in these circumstances we are there to help make sure the athlete is evacuated safely from the mountain and that appropriate investigations are carried out and the injury is managed in a way to achieve the best outcome. This usually involves communication with the coaches, team Doctor, insurance companies, and families. With the more complicated injuries which require operations and rehabilitation back in the UK, I communicate closely with the athlete and team Doctor and we endeavour to set up the best surgeon and rehabilitation package to suit the injury and the individual needs of the athlete. I remain in close contact with the rehab team involved in the recovery process through the whole period of rehabilitation.  Individual programmes are built and targets are set through all the stages of the rehab process until the athlete is ready to return to snow. Returning to snow for an athlete requires monitoring and TLC to some degree as it is impossible to absolutely replicate the forces on land that the athletes experience on snow. This is one of my favourite parts of the job.”

Most common injuries:  “Knee injuries, back and neck injuries, concussion, shoulder injuries.”

Best part of my job as a physio: “Working with this team since 2012 I have thoroughly enjoyed supporting the athletes through thick and thin and seeing them grow and develop as people as well as in their sport. Also meeting and talking to really interesting people. I have been able to work in incredibly beautiful mountain environments and ski as part of my job. Very lucky.”

You can follow Ali on Instagram here.

Photos by Theo Acworth

This week marks the start of the GB Snowsport Team Behind the Team series, providing weekly showcases of some of the top talent supporting the GB Snowsport athletes all year round. In the first entry, meet Ben Kinnear, GB Snowsport Freestyle Snowboard Coach. Learn about what Ben gets up to day-to-day from driving and organising, to filming and feedback, not to mention making sure our athletes are happy, healthy and supported so they can continue to perform their best both on and off snow.

How and why did you get into coaching?

“I started coaching when I was quite young, around 18, as it was pretty clear to me that’s what I wanted to do by then – to be immersed in the culture and sport of snowboarding, and work with athletes to help them progress. I actually first started a private junior camp with a friend to help bring talented riders from artificial slopes in the UK out to bigger parks in Europe and my own coaching opportunities grew from there.”

What are your main responsibilities as a coach? 

“Driving and organising stuff for riders? Haha. It always changes according to the athlete and the situation. I would like to think by remaining flexible in our approach we essentially to help create the best learning environments for all the riders and help them negotiate the various hurdles that come along the way. Skill progression is what Park and Pipe snowboarding is all about, so it’s really down to working with riders on that skill acquisition journey both on and off snow.”

How important is the mental/psychological side of coaching in a modern athlete’s development? 

“Yes, it’s definitely very important, essential in fact. Ultimately, the very best progression happens when an athlete is feeling at their best. So anything we can do as coaches to help riders find their best place is really crucial. Learning to understand different athletes’ needs and preferences helps us too. Because there is significant consequence in our sport, helping athletes learn to take ownership over their own decision-making as they progress, definitely involves tapping into the psychological side of coaching and is so important in how we build coaching relationships. 

“Really, it goes far beyond just snowboarding, it’s how we all interact and help support each other on and off the mountain that can positively impact an athlete’s life beyond snowboarding.”

How is the new generation of athletes’ expectations of coaching different from what was expected 10 years ago? 

“I don’t know how different it is to be honest. It’s easy to make comments about Generation Y or Z collectively, but honestly I feel like its so individual that it hasn’t changed that much. With social media so prevalent now there is more demand on instant airdrop of photos or video 😅”

Is analysing competition or training footage useful for athlete improvement and development? If so, has tech like mobile phones and drones made this easier? 

“Yes, video has always been very heavily used for quick athlete feedback and now having high quality video available on the phone has made that aspect much easier than it ever was. Other tech has its uses yes, but honestly it’s hard to beat the phone! I can jump on a chairlift with a rider, have a chat through a last attempt on a trick and a quick look at the video if it’s relevant. We actually used a drone a little bit last winter but more for the sake of a unique angle on a jump we were at than a performance need. Quite a few of the athletes are really into their photography and videography, so often there is really good quality footage or pictures being taken by the riders too. Matt McCormick in particular is producing some incredible footage and photography.” 

What was the biggest challenge coaching athletes during the most restricted moments last year? How did you manage to maintain a coaching approach with athletes during lockdown?

“Throughout the first while, it was similar to everyone else – video calls, catch ups and we would set home challenges in our groups online for people to stay engaged. We were very fortunate, in that by September last year we were travelling and competing again (with heavy protocols in place). Of course, the constant uncertainty made for huge challenges and constant changes of plans and competitions changes/cancellations meant it was very intense. However, in perspective, just to be able to be doing what we were was incredibly fortunate.”

You can follow Ben on Instagram here.

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

Lloyd Wallace

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

British student athletes are being encouraged to put themselves forward for selection for the 30th edition of the rescheduled winter fisu world university games in lucerne, switzerland this december

The Games, which is the largest global winter multi-sport event for student athletes, will see more than 2,500 athletes representing over 50 countries compete across 11 days from 11-21 December 2021 with the British team overseen by British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS). With an expected global audience of more than 300m viewers in over 100 countries, the World University Games have long played an important role in supporting up-and-coming athletes with high-level competition experience at a formative point in their careers.

Eligible British snowsport athletes interested in competing are now being asked to put themselves forward for selection across the following disciplines:

  • Alpine
  • Nordic
  • Snowboarding (Slopestyle, Big Air, Parallel Grand Slalom, Parallel Slalom)
  • Freestyle Skiing (Slopestyle, Big Air)

eligibility criteria

The following eligibility criteria apply for athletes seeking selection:

  • Students who are currently officially registered as proceeding towards a degree or diploma at a university or similar institute, the states of which is recognised by the appropriate national academic authority of their country (athletes beginning their academic courses in September 2021 are eligible, so long as they meet the relevant age criteria), or former students of those institutions who have obtained their academic degree of diploma in the calendar year preceding the event
  • Be at least 18 and no older than 25 years of age on 31 December 2021 (dates of birth between 01 January 1996 and 31 December 2003).

Applying athletes should note that the British team is run by BUCS and competition will cost athletes in the region of £1500, including coaching costs. Many individual University Sports Unions have traditionally offered grants to contribute to these costs, and we would encourage all interested athletes to communicate with their respective institutions to understand if this is the case prior to beginning the expression of interest process. The Games will take place between 11 and 21 December 2021.

Once athletes are selected, BUCS and GB Snowsport will work with the athlete to identify coaches of the appropriate standard to support their efforts at the event.

performance criteria

GB Snowsport Performance Criteria for selection to the World University Games can be found in the GB Snowsport Selection Policy.

Athletes who meet the above criteria are invited to express their interest to Mark Ritchie, GB Snowsport Head of Talent, by 12:00 on 23 July: mark.ritchie@gbsnowsports.com.
Athletes should state their University or Institution, Course and Year, Date of Birth, Event Disciplines and Coach Name and Contact Details in the first instance.

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