In light of recent news and speculation following UK Sport’s funding decision, the British World Cup Cross-Country Team have issued the following statement

Update

On 25 August, the Cross-Country World Cup Squad launched a crowdfunding appeal to help maintain Britain’s standing as an internationally-competitive Cross-Country nation. After just 30 minutes, almost £1,000 had been raised in support of their goals.

To back the campaign, visit the British Cross-Country Ski Team’s Crowdfunding Campaign.

Despite the cut to funding from UK Sport, GBS nordic and the World Cup Cross-Country team are committed in their approach to the coming World Cup and World Championship season. The team aims to be competing for medals and medal zone places, as they have done for the past six years.

The team has established elite level skiers: all three with repeated World Cup top-10 finishes, two with multiple World Cup podiums, one with seven successive World Championship top-10s.

The team has enjoyed Olympic success with a top-10 and two top-12 results, the best ever Olympic results for British Cross-Country skiers.

Nordic skiing is a growing, inclusive sport within the UK and has a growing domestic pathway from entry level to the World Cup Squad. That pathway extends through local clubs via the British Nordic Development Squad and the Home Nations Performance Pathway Programme. There are emerging athletes within the pathway, with one qualifying for World Cups this year.

Recent performance by the established athletes continue to show they are members of the elite in the sport:

  • 4th and 5th at Boe, Norway Rollerski World Cup
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in recently world class fields at Blink Rollerski Festival, Norway

While we are working with GB Snowsport and others to secure the future of the sport at the world level, we are certain that the team will deliver its competitive ambitions this coming season in World Cups and World Championships.

The World Cup team continues to work in operational cooperation with Snowsport Scotland and the Norwegian Ski Team. These partnerships will be even more important in the coming season.

The team is actively looking for sponsors and supporters who can share in this opportunity to support a GB athlete onto World podiums. We are currently working on creating a fundraising site for our supporters.

If you would like to help, please email the Chairman of the GB Snowsport Nordic Committee, chairbritishnordic@gmail.com

GB Snowsport have today (4 August 2022) issued the following statement

In light of July’s announcement by UK Sport regarding investment into GB Snowsport for the Milan-Cortina Olympic and Paralympic cycle, we have had to communicate the deeply disappointing news to our Alpine, Cross-Country and Para Nordic athletes that UK Sport have deemed the three disciplines to not be investible for World Class Programme funding.

While all three disciplines have been named for potential funding at national squad level, and UK Sport have ringfenced a minimal amount of programme funding for the Men’s Slalom programme and for Para Nordic, neither investment level is sufficient to sustain elite performance at the levels required.

This is a heavy blow to athletes, coaches, technical staff, and GB Snowsport employees who have shown enormous dedication in their efforts to grow Britain’s standing in Alpine, Cross-Country and Para Nordic skiing, not least through the exceptional on-snow performances of so many of those athletes over the past two seasons.

As a Governing Body, we have worked tirelessly to protect the continued development of our Alpine and Nordic programmes, and we fundamentally disagree with the decision not to invest further into those disciplines, particularly at a time when athletes in all three areas have been delivering some of Britain’s greatest ever results on the snow.

We are now urgently exploring all other options to continue these programmes, including new commercial partnerships, reducing costs throughout the organisation, and seeking greater efficiencies within our programmes, but we do anticipate that difficult decisions will need to be made in the coming weeks. Additionally we will be appealing against the UK Sport decisions, and will want to understand relative comparisons of funding support for other sports, whether Winter or Summer, Olympic or Paralympic.

We also know that this will be extremely dispiriting for everybody who supports and is involved with British Alpine, Cross-Country and Para Nordic Skiing at every level. We feel it is important to take this opportunity to reaffirm our continued belief in the internationally competitive potential of all three disciplines and our commitment to exploring every avenue available to us.

We are grateful to UK Sport for their continued support of our other disciplines, and expect to be able to build on the success demonstrated on snow over the past four years.

Get the latest info on preparations for the 2022-23 season, as British athletes’ build-up to competition continues

British athletes were back on snow this month as pre-season training kicked up a gear ahead of the resumption of the 2022/23 World Cup programme in October.

During a phased return to the slopes, as each discipline takes advantage of enhanced athlete testing, conditioning, and fitness work, the men’s Alpine squad were into training in Stelvio, while the Freeski and Freestyle Snowboard travelled to Genk, Belgium, for training blocks on cutting-edge Air Bag facilities and to Manchester for UK camps and screening sessions.

Meanwhile, the Ski and Snowboard Cross and Para Snowboard squads have been in Les Deux Alpes for on-snow training blocks, with Ski and Snowboard Cross also travelling into Corsica for bike camp training, while Moguls have banked dry land and water camp training as preparations for the new season ramp up. The Cross Country squad have been put through their paces in Bo, Norway, with a camp taking in the Rollerski World Cup, which saw Andrew Young take fourth place and James Clugnet fifth, with the Para Nordic squad also taking part in the British Rollerski Championships.

For others the preparations continue at home with athletes from the Moguls, Cross Country, and Ski and Snowboard Cross teams helping support Home Nations competitions and development programmes across the country.

GB Snowsport Head Coach, Pat Sharples, has been out on camp with a number of the teams and said:

“With pre-season now underway, it’s great to see how high motivation is among all the athletes, coaches, and support staff, especially after such a busy last year. For the first time in a long time, it feels like we’ve come out of the stresses and the challenges of managing the pandemic and the preparations for Beijing, and this year really gives us all a fresh start as we lead up to Milan-Cortina.

We’ve got a lot of training and a lot of hard work still to come, but it’s really exciting to be counting down to the start of the new season.”

Cross-Country – Sognefjellet, Norway


Andrew Musgrave and James Clugnet with Austria’s Mika Vermeulen


James Clugnet

Freestyle Ski & Snowboard – Genk, Belgium


Billy Cockrell


Chris McCormick

Image Credits: Jostein Vinjerui, Ben Kinnear

The five-day festival of Winter Sport will see six British youth skiers and snowboarders compete with the world’s best young prospects

For the five British skiers and one British snowboarder selected by the British Olympic Association to represent GB at the 2022 European Youth Olympic Festival in Vuokatti, Finland, competition gets underway today with the first events of Europe’s leading multi-sport festival for athletes aged 14-18.

With the team now on site and training underway, the athletes will be looking to follow in the footsteps of established skiers like Owen Vinter, a participant at the Bosnia edition in 2019, and now a regular competitor at FIS and Junior World Championship levels, with seven Europa Cup appearances under his belt.

In the Alpine events, Alexa Elliff, Isla Ward, Aidan Urquhart, and Ted Slade will all get underway when tomorrow’s Alpine calendar kicks off with the Slalom races, while Snowboarder Koby Cook‘s programme begins later the same day.

In Nordic Combined, Mani Cooper will also be looking to make an impact on Tuesday in the Girls’ competitions, which get underway at 15:15 local time.

For more information on the European Youth Olympic Festival, including broadcast links, visit www.eyof2022.fi/schedule

Header Image: Koby Cook, Photo: Ben Kinnear

As the 2021/22 season heads towards its close, British athletes were grabbing sensational results across Europe

Charlotte Bankes topped the bill, picking straight back up from her pre-Olympics form with yet another World Cup victory, sealing the Crystal Globe in the process. Her victory in Reiteralm, her fourth this season, means Bankes has stood on the podium at all but one of her World Cup races since the start of the season, and left her in an unassailable position at the top of the competition standings with one competition to go.

In the Men’s races, Huw Nightingale made it safely through to the Finals, coming 24th as his first season on the World Cup tour draws towards its end.

Mia Brookes, the 15-year-old Freestyle Snowboard sensation, also continued her breathtaking season with a stunning Big Air performance in Leysin, Switzerland, which saw her named Junior World Champion, and a hard-fought second place in the Slopestyle. The Big Air title was secured with a B7 and cab 9 in windy conditions and the two highest-scoring jumps in the competition, leaving Brookes comfortably in first place ahead of Chihiro Edamatsu of Japan in second.

Her second place in the Slopestyle, behind Japan’s Yura Murase, included a well-executed and technical rail line, with a great jump line that inlcuded a cab 10, saw only a point separating Brookes from Murase in the final standings. Remarkably, the Slopestyle silver marks the first time this season that Brookes has finished off the top spot in the eight competitions she has entered this season. Amber Fennell was also in action, the 15-year-old coming 25th in Slopestyle and 22nd in Big Air, for a pair of encouraging performances.

In Alpine, Charlie Raposo secured Britain’s first Men’s Giant Slalom World Cup points in 54 years at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, on Saturday with a 27th place finish, before backing it up with an even better performance in the second of the weekend’s dual World Cup races to take 16th spot.

A blisteringly fast, technically excellent second leg in Sunday’s race saw Raposo sat in the race leader’s chair at one point, and marks the highlight of his World Cup career to date. The two races marked the second and third times that Raposo has secured World Cup points in his career, the first having come when he opened his account in Lech / Zuers in November.

Charlie Guest, appearing in her first World Cup since her Olympic Winter Games campaign, also took 27th spot in the Slalom World Cup in Are, Sweden. Guest’s result means she has only twice failed to take home World Cup points this season, having delivered a number of career-best finishes over the winter.

In Cross-Country, Andrew Musgrave took his third World Cup top-10 of the season in Falun, with a 10th place finish in the 15km Free. In a tightly-contested race, Musgrave’s time of 32:48.6 saw him share 10th spot with Finland’s Iivo Niskanen, with the pair less than 3s back from Canadian Olivier Leveille in ninth. James Clugnet took 59th, having secured 25th place in the Sprint Classic the day before. Andrew Young, meanwhile, finished further back in the pack in the 15km Free, having taken 36th spot in the Sprint Classic. For Clugnet, the Sprint marked his first occasion qualifying for Finals in a Sprint Classic race.

In Telemark, Jasmin Taylor took an incredible five podiums, including two race victories, in five races in Les Houches and Murren. Les Houches saw two Sprint World Cups that gave Taylor first and second spots, before taking the runners up spot in both Classic and Sprint in Murren, rounding the weekend off with victory in the Parallel Sprint.

There were also encouraging performances from Sissi Compton (11th and 17th in Les Houches Sprint World Cup,, 11th, 12th, and 13th in the Junior World Championships in Murren), Tim Gough (eighth, fifth, and 17th in the Junior World Championships, 12th in Les Houches, 18th in Murren Parallel Sprint World Cup), Ben Emsley (ninth in Murren Sprint World Cup, 16th in Parallel Sprint), Colin Dixon (18th and 15th in Les Houches, 12th, 11th, and 11th in Murren), and Magnus McIntosh (13th and 15th in Les Houchesm 10th in Murren Parallel Sprint World Cup, and 13th, 12th and ninth spots in the Junior World Championships) rounding out an excellent week for the Telemark squad.

Image depicts GB Snowsport athletes (l-r) Top Row: Jaz Taylor, Charlotte Bankes, Charlie Guest. Middle Row: Huw Nightingale, Charlie Raposo, Andrew Musgrave. Bottom Row: Ben Emsley, James Clugnet, Andrew Young and Mia Brookes

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

Header Image: Charlotte Bankes celebrates victory at the Reiteralm World Cup, Austria. Photo: GEPA pictures/ Harald Steiner

GB Snowsport are delighted to confirm the names of five British athletes selected to compete at the OPA Games this month

Running from 12-13 March, the OPA Cross Country races will see five British skiers line up to represent the country in the Alpen Cup level event.

All named athletes have been selected in line with the GB Snowsport Selection Policies.

GB Squad for OPA Games 2022, Sappada, Italy

  • Jake Blane
  • Logan Duncan
  • Jakob Ipsen
  • Rasmus Ipsen
  • Tristan Marshall

Five skiers and one snowboarder will travel to Vuokatti, Finland, as part of British squad

Six ski and snowboard athletes have been announced as members of the British squad for the European Youth Olympic Festival 2022 in Vuokatti, Finland, by the British Olympic Association.

The competition, which runs from 20-25 March 2022, is Europe’s leading multi-sport event for athletes aged 14-18 and delivered under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). First held for winter sports in 1993 in Italy, the 2022 event will mark the 15th Winter EYOF and the second time it has been hosted in Vuokatti, after the fifth EYOF in 2001.

Alpine

  • Alexa Elliff
  • Isla Ward
  • Aidan Urquhart
  • Ted Slade

Snowboard

  • Koby Cook

Nordic Combined

  • Mani Cooper

Header Image: Team GB’s Mani Cooper during Nordic Combined Ski Jump training at the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games on the 17h January 2020 at the Les Tuffes Nordic Centre in Switzerland. Photo by Sam Mellish

Dave Ryding’s sensational season continued in Germany, Andrew Young and James Clugnet were back in World Cup action, while Mia Brookes continued her perfect season, and the Moguls squad grabbed podiums and top-10s in Austria

The Alpine World Cup season got back into full swing following the Beijing Olympic Winter Games, with a stunning fifth career World Cup podium for Dave Ryding in the second of the weekend’s double-header in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Having taken a 20th place finish in the first of the weekend’s WC races on Saturday, Ryding stormed back with a superb second run in Sunday’s race to move from 19th spot at the turn to take second place and the fifth World Cup podium of his career.

The result, which saw him finish just 0.35s behind Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen, puts Ryding fourth in the Slalom World Cup standings, and marks the first time he’s stood on a World Cup podium more than once in a season. Billy Major and Laurie Taylor also turned out in both races, Major coming 43rd in the weekend’s first race before a DNF in Sunday’s race, and Taylor taking 54th on Sunday following a DNF on Saturday.

Andrew Young and James Clugnet were also back in World Cup action in Lahti, Finland, with Young taking a top-10 in the Sprint Free, coming in eighth spot. Clugnet, who qualified in fourth, had to settle for 26th in the Final, and followed it up with a 52nd place finish in the 15km Classic, with Young finishing 26th. The results confirmed a season-best performance for Young in the Sprint Free, while for Clugnet the weekend’s action marked a best-ever Prologue as well as his highest ever Classic distance finish.

In Freestyle Snowboard, Mia Brookes’ season card currently reads: entered six, won six after another pair of first-place Europa Cup finishes in Goetschen, Germany in Big Air and Slopestyle. Both competitions saw Brookes up against a number of athletes who competed for their countries in Beijing at the Olympic Winter Games, with her ability to mix it with the world’s best becoming increasingly apparent.

Meanwhile, the Moguls squad grabbed a host of top-10 finishes at the Krispl Europa Cup, topped by silver medals for Leonie Gerken Schofield and Will Feneley. In the men’s competitions, Feneley took silver with Tom Gerken Schofield securing a top-10 finish with tenth spot, and a 14th place for Mateo Jeannesson on the first day, before Feneley doubled up on podium finishes, coming third on the Sunday, with Jeannesson taking sixth and Thomas Gerken Schofield another tenth. In the women’s section, Leonie Gerken Schofield’s Saturday silver was followed by a fourth-place finish on the Sunday, capping an outstanding weekend of skiing for the British squad.

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

Header Image: Dave Ryding celebrates at Garmisch-Partenkirchen Slalom World Cup, 27 February 2022. Photo: GEPA pictures/ Thomas Bachun

Gus Kenworthy brought down the curtain on a glittering Olympic career, while Musgrave takes 12th in weather-affected XC contest

Amid challenging weather conditions, Gus Kenworthy‘s glittering career drew to a close with a top-8 finish in the Men’s Freeski Halfpipe. After a scratch run on his first attempt and a huge smash on his second, there were questions over whether Kenworthy would be able to make it out for a third run. Ultimately he did, putting down a 71.25 to finish in eighth position, offering a reminder of his enduring class and impact in Freeski.

Having competed at the previous two Olympic Winter Games for the USA, Kenworthy switched representation to Team GB for his final Games appearance and helped ensure another Freestyle top-10 finish for British skiers at the Beijing Games, to go alongside those for Kirsty Muir (twice), Katie Summerhayes, Zoe Atkin, and Makayla Gerken Schofield.

Speaking after the Finals, Kenworthy said:

“Today was a pretty big struggle, we showed up and it was the windiest it has been since we’ve been here in Beijing, very, very cold.

“Just tough conditions to compete in. I think everybody had to end up modifying their run and adapting what they were doing and I did too.

“I still felt pretty good and felt that I could potentially do well and end up on the podium but I knew it was going to take a well executed run which is hard when it’s like this.

“Second run I had a pretty bad slam. I was feeling sore and knew that my third run was going to be my last contest run ever and that was my motivation.

“I dug deep and was able to put it down but it was pretty loose and windy, it wasn’t the run I wanted to do but I was grateful to make it down in one piece and end on my feet.

“I was still planning on doing a switch double on the second to last hit, I felt the wind as I was coming into it. That happened in my first run and I fell on that trick and I didn’t want to fall on the same trick on my last go.

“I felt the wind and did a switch 720, then had a bit of a weird landing at the bottom. It’s all good, it wasn’t quite what I hoped for but I’m still pretty proud of it.

“I’ve had a great time, I feel very lucky to be back here for a third Games and doing it for Team GB has been awesome. I just love all the people at the programme and the other athletes.

“The Olympics has changed my life, it has provided so much, all the opportunities I’ve had through skiing and my silver medal [for USA at Sochi 2014] is crazy to me and I feel very lucky.

“This last performance was for my mum and doing it for GB.

“I hope I made her proud, I’m sure I did. It wasn’t a medal or quite what I set out for but it all comes down to the day and it was a tough day today.”

Gus Kenworthy during Freeski Halfpipe Finals at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on the 19th February 2022 at Genting Snow Park in Zhangjakou, China. Photo by Sam Mellish / Team GB.

Musgrave fights hard to secure top-15 spot

Poor weather conditions forced a last-minute shortening of the Men’s 50km Mass Start Free course to a 28.4km circuit, a decision which frustrated Andrew Musgrave, whose preparations had geared towards the longer distance. Despite the late change, Musgrave got off to a super start which saw him sitting in second at around the quarter race mark and held in the leading pack up until just after the halfway mark, but fell back in the final quarter of the race to finish a respectable 12th position.

Speaking afterwards, Musgrave reflected:

“It was a bit of a tough one. I was feeling a lot better today than in the two previous ones I’ve done.

“It was a little bit strange that the 50km suddenly got changed to a shorter race. But I couldn’t really do anything about that and just had to go out and make the best of it.

“I was feeling pretty good but on the second lap France’s Maurice Manificat increased the pace a wee bit and I felt it was just a little bit too fast.

“Out on the third lap, I was a little bit in the red and just couldn’t keep pace with the front guys. It was a fight to not lose too much time and keep my position.

“It ended up being a lot better day than the previous two races but it wasn’t quite what I dreamed of either.

“I was a little bit annoyed [at the change of distance]. 50km is meant to be the ultimate endurance race and I felt like it wasn’t quite the same.

“I like 30km as well, I know I’m strong on both of them. It’s a similar sort of race, preparation and warm-ups are all the same. I was annoyed but at the same time it didn’t affect my preparation.”

Header Image: Gus Kenworthy during Freeski Halfpipe Finals training at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on the 19th February 2022 at Genting Snow Park in Zhangjakou, China. Photo by Sam Mellish / Team GB.

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