Meenagh shows strength at Prince George World Championships 

Amid a year beset by early-season cancellations, the Para Nordic season drew to a close at the Prince George World Championships and World Cup contests, with Scott Meenagh delivering three World Championships and two World Cup top-10 finishes. 

Following his astounding 2023 World Championships Silver medal in Ostersund, a return of sixth, seventh, and eighth place finishes in the Biathlon Sprint, Biathlon Individual, and Biathlon Sprint Pursuit events in Prince George cemented Meenagh’s position as Britain’s pre-eminent Para Nordic skier in modern history. 

Competing alongside Meenagh, Steve Arnold put in his final performances as a member of the British Para Nordic team before announcing his retirement at the conclusion of the Prince George events, banking a brace of top-20 World Championships finishes with 14th in the Biathlon Sprint and 15th in the Biathlon individual. 

In a truncated campaign, Meenagh added another podium to his career total with Bronze at the Canmore Continental Cup 10km Free, finishing third in an 11-man field, less than 45 seconds off Derek Zaplotinsky’s winning time. 

Reflecting on the season, Scott Meenagh said:

“This was a very different year of preparation for the World Championships as I underwent two surgeries in the summer, which meant I spent most of pre-season focusing on rehabilitation rather than the high training load I would normally have planned. 

“My son was also born in January which meant I didn’t attend the early World Cups, and I also had more than my fair share of illness over the winter as I tried to prepare. 

“With all of that in mine, it’s safe to say I was managing my expectations going into Prince George, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well my body responded out there, especially in such a strong field. 

“I’m really proud of my performances based on the run-in I had, and it’s given me a lot of encouragement to hit this summer’s training with energy and purpose as we start to narrow the focus on next season.” 

The team’s focus will now shift over the summer towards the Paralympic Qualification Period which begins next season. 

Arnold bows out after seven years representing nation

Para Nordic skier Steve Arnold, who represented Britain at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, has announced his retirement following the conclusion of the 2023/24 Para Nordic season.

Arnold, who joined the team in 2017 and first competed on the World Cup circuit at Finsterau in February of that year, bows out having produced multiple World Cup top-10 finishes over the last eight seasons in both Cross Country and Biathlon.

He narrowly missed out on selection for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, but came back stronger in the following years to make the selection for the team in 2022. A bout of Covid-19 just before the start of the Games nearly scuppered his chances but he recovered in time to take to the snow in Beijing, finishing 29th in the Cross Country Middle and 12th as part of Great Britian’s first Relay team.

Arnold was also selected to the GB Snowsport team at four World Championships, with his best result being tenth place in the Cross Country Long at Lillehammer in January 2022.

Commenting on Steve’s retirement, James REdpath, GB Snowsport Para Programme Manager said:

“Steve’s been an integral part of the Para Nordic team ever since he first joined up with the squad seven years ago, and it’s been a real privilege to watch him train and compete over that time.

“Along with everything he’s achieved on snow, Steve’s overcome a lot of adversity in his time on the programme. I think everyone who’s had the pleasure to work with him would attest to the depth of his commitment and work ethic from day one right the way through to his retirement.

“We’ll all really miss having Steve around the team, and we all wish him well in his retirement.”

Scott Meenagh and Steve Arnold to represent Britain in Prince George, Canada

GB Snowsport are delighted to confirm the athletes selected to represent Britain at the 2024 Prince George Para Biathlon World Championships.

Scott Meenagh and Steve Arnold will both travel to Canada to compete in the 7.5km Sprint, Sprint Pursuit, and 12.5km Individual competitions at the Championships, which open on 5 March 2024.

The competition schedule will see Meenagh and Arnold first compete on Wednesday 6 March in the Biathlon 7.5km Sprint, before lining up for the Biathlon 12.5km Individual on Thursday 7 March, and the Biathlon Sprint Pursuit on Saturday 9 March.

GB Snowsport would like to congratulate Scott and Steve on their selection, and wish them the best of luck when the Championships begin next month.

Freeski and Cross Country World Cups yield strong performances, while there were Para Nordic FIS podiums to celebrate

Muir’s podium charge foiled by weather

Kirsty Muir’s first World Cup appearance of the season ended in a frustrating fourth place finish after poor weather conditions scuppered the Finals at the Stubai Slopestyle World Cup, leaving the result to qualification standings. Muir’s 63.50 first run looked to have been enough to secure comfortable passage to Finals, but with weather conditions deemed too dangerous to compete in taking hold across Austria, she found herself behind Mathilde Gremaud, Tess Ledeux, and Ruby Star Andrews in the curtailed final standings. The result nevertheless extends Muir’s run of top-10 World Cup finishes to nine consecutive competitions, dating back to the 2021 Silvaplana World Cup.

In the men’s competition, Tyler Harding was the pick of the Brits with a 22nd place finish, with Chris McCormick in 25th and James Pouch in 55th.

Musgrave doubles up with top-10 finishes in Ruka

The first Cross-Country World Cup races of the season saw Andrew Musgrave bank back-to-back top-10 finishes with a superb fifth place in the 10km Classic, followed by eighth in the 20km Free Mass Start. In the 10km, Musgrave was one of only two non-Norwegians in the top-5 alongside Finland’s Iivo Niskanen, finishing just seven seconds short of a podium spot. In a Norwegian dominated 20km race, Musgrave was once again right in the reckoning for the top spots, with a time of 48:13.5 putting him only 2.5s outside of the podium places. Andrew Young took 35th place in the 20km and 51st in the 10km, along with a 53rd in the 1.2km Sprint Classic with Musgrave in 67th.

Para Nordic Podiums

The Para Nordic race calendar saw strong performances from Scott Meenagh and Steve Arnold in FIS level races in Alberta as the calendar gears up for a busy year for the discipline. Meenagh demonstrated the form that took him to a World Championships silver last year with third place in the Men’s Interval Start race, with Steve Arnold taking seventh. In a reduced field 8km (5 x 1.6km) contest, Meenagh and Arnold took first and third spots respectively, though the event saw only one other competitor at the start line for logistical reasons.

Wordley makes Alpine World Cup debut in Killington

18-year-old Nicole Wordley made her World Cup debut at the Killington GS World Cup, in only her third full season of competitive competition. A challenging course saw her record a first run DNF, but the experience will prove invaluable in Wordley’s long-term development as she continues her progress through the Alpine ranks. In the Slalom World Cup, Charlie Guest also took a first run DNF in a race notable for delivering Michaela Shiffrin’s 90th World Cup victory.

GB Snowsport has today confirmed the selection of 14 athletes to the Para Alpine, Para Nordic, and Para Snowboard squads ahead of the coming season.

A ten-athlete Para Alpine squad featuring luminaries of the sport Menna Fitzpatrick and Neil Simpson is joined by a returning three-person Para Snowboard team, with Scott Meenagh named as the sole representative of the Para Nordic squad.

Fitzpatrick and Simpson are named alongside Shona Brownlee, Alex Slegg, Michael Kear, and VI Guides Katie Guest, Andrew Simpson, Rob Poth, Adam Hall, and Louise Harrison in a Para Alpine squad rich in experience and success over recent seasons.

The Para Snowboard squad remains unchanged from last season, with James Barnes-Miller, Ollie Hill, and Nina Sparks seeking to build on a series of high-grade performances last year which returned multiple World Cup and World Championships podiums across the team.

Scott Meenagh, meanwhile, returns in the Para Nordic squad having made history last season with a first ever World Championships medal, delivering on the rich promise that British Para Nordic skiing has shown throughout the past few years.

GB Snowpsort Para Programme Manager, James Redpath, said:

The stability and success of our Para Snowsport squads has been really clear over recent seasons, and that’s reflected in the growing list of race and competition victories held by athletes named in these squads today.

“This is a really important season for all of our athletes, many of whom will have ambitions to compete at the next Paralympic Winter Games in Milan-Cortina in 2026, and I’d like to congratulate all of them alongside their coaching and support teams for their selections today.”

With pre-season training underway and a number of athletes making their way back from injury, the countdown to the season is on with the first Para Snowboard World Cup scheduled for Landgraaf in late November, while the Para Alpine World Cup season is slated to begin in Steinach am Brenner in mid-December. The Para Nordic calendar is expected to be confirmed shortly.

Full Squad Lists

Para Alpine

  • Shona Brownlee
  • Menna Fitzpatrick
  • Katie Guest (Guide)
  • Adam Hall (Guide)
  • Louise Harrison (Guide – Invitational)
  • Michael Kear
  • Rob Poth (Guide)
  • Andrew Simpson (Guide)
  • Neil Simpson
  • Alex Slegg

Para Nordic

  • Scott Meenagh

Para Snowboard

  • James Barnes-Miller
  • Ollie Hill
  • Nina Sparks

We look forward to working with Phil Smith in the build-up to the 2026 Paralympic Winter Games

GB Snowsport are delighted with the news of ParalympicsGB’s appointment of Phil Smith as Chef de Mission of the British team for the Milan-Cortina Paralympic Winter Games,

Phil, who has built strong relationships with members of the GB Snowsport Paralympic discipline squads, held the same role at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games and has been a staunch supporter of British Paralympic skiers and snowboarders throughout his time at ParalympicsGB.

We look forward to working with Phil again in the coming years, and hope to enjoy more positive results at the Milan-Cortina Games following the significant successes seen in Beijing.

Find out more about Phil Smith’s appointment from the British Paralympic Association here.

On a week of unprecedented success for British skiers and snowboarders, the nation’s athletes delivered 12 medals including three golds in a show of strength that confirms Britain’s standing as home to some of the world’s most exciting snowsport competitors.

At the Para Alpine World Championships Espot, Spain, Neil Simpson and Rob Poth banked gold, silver, and bronze medals in the Super-G, Slalom, and Giant Slalom respectively, crowning a 12-month period that secured gold and bronze medals in the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games for Simpson alongside his brother Andrew, as well as silver in the Super-Combined on Simpson’s World Championships debut in Lillehammer last year. Skiing together for the first time at major competition, after injury to Andrew in training over the winter, Simpson and Poth delivered a string of outstanding race performances amid fierce competition from the Italian pairing of Giacomo Bertagnolli and Andrea Ravelli, and Austria’s Joannes Aigner and Matteo Fleischmann.

In the Women’s VI Class, Menna Fitzpatrick and Katie Guest continued to show the form which has made Fitzpatrick Britain’s most decorated winter Paralympian with outstanding silver and bronze medal performances in the Giant Slalom and the Slalom, echoing the two medals the pair took at last year’s Lillehammer World Championships.

The Para Nordic World Championships in Ostersund, Sweden, meanwhile delivered a richly-deserved silver medal for Scott Meenagh in the 12.5km Biathlon. Meenagh, whose performances throughout the Championships were exceptional, finally took the podium that he has battled towards for so long, with a pristine shooting performance matched by a blistering ski pace. In the process, Meenagh delivered a first ever British Para Nordic World Championships medal, proving beyond doubt his strength as a skier and as a competitor at the highest levels of one of the most physically demanding sports in the world.

The 2023 X Games in Aspen, Colorado, saw three of the stars of British Freeski and Freestyle Snowboard invited to compete, with Zoe Atkin taking gold in a jaw-dropping display of half-pipe skiing, Kirsty Muir securing a brace of bronze medals in Slopestyle and Big Air that confirmed her status as one of the sport’s most promising athletes, and Mia Brookes a superb sixth place on her X Games debut. The team’s performances propelled Britain to seventh in the medal table, and saw some of Britain’s finest young athletes matched with the world’s best and most exciting freestyle talent.

Freestyle medals were also in the offing at the European Youth Olympic Festival where Team GB flagbearer, Charlie Lane, took gold in Freestyle Snowboard Slopestyle and silver in Big Air. At just 16 years of age, Lane’s performances continue a meteoric rise for the young Brit who first competed at international level in 2020.

In Moguls, Makayla Gerken-Schofield’s superb 2022/23 season finally brought the World Cup podium that her performances have so richly deserved, with third place in the Val St. Come Dual Moguls World Cup. Having taken eighth place in the previous day’s single Moguls contest, Gerken-Schofield’s third spot means she becomes the second Gerken-Schofield to take a Moguls World Cup podium following older brother Thomas Gerken-Schofield’s history-making second place in Krasnoyarsk in 2020, and leaves her having not finished outside the top-10 in any of the season’s seven World Cup competitions to date. In the Men’s competitions, Mateo Jeannesson took 31st in single Moguls and 40th in Dual Moguls, while Makayla’s fellow Beijing 2022 Olympian, Will Feneley, came 36th and 31st in single and Dual Moguls respectively.

With the Cross-Country World Championships on the horizon, Andrew Musgrave, Andrew Young, and James Clugnet were in action at the Les Rousses World Cup, with Young’s 15th place finish in the Sprint C the highlight of the team’s performances. Young also added a 47th and 50th place in the 10km F and 20km C, while Musgrave finished 17th, 52nd, and 35th in 10km F, Sprint C, and 20km C. Clugnet, meanwhile, was 61st in 10km F and 48th in Sprint C.

Alpine interests were focused on Schladming and Spindleruv Mlyn, with the Men’s Slalom and GS teams in action in Schladming, and Reece Bell returning for only the second World Cup race of her career in Spindleruv Mlyn, Dave Ryding delivering the week’s best performance with a 12th place finish in the Schladming Slalom WC.

The Alpine World Junior Championships concluded, with Calum Langmuir and Giselle Gorringe seeing the pick of the results. Langmuir’s 17th in the Men’s Super-G was a performance of real grit and promise, while Gorringe’s 23rd place in the Women’s Super-G left her unfortunate not to secure a top-20 spot, but still with much to reflect positively on. The Men’s Downhill, meanwhile, saw all three British entrants finish within the top-40, with Calum Langmuir in 32nd, Dominic Shackleton in 34th and Max Laughland in 37th. Further finishes were secured by Louis de Pourtales, Laughland, and Langmuir in the Men’s Giant Slalom.

The GB Snowsport Results Round-Up is brought to you by Snow+Rock.

Dave Ryding and Mia Brookes put the crowning touches on an exceptional week of competition for Britain’s Skiers and Snowboarders

A year to the day from his jaw-dropping victory at the Kitzbuehel Slalom World Cup, Dave Ryding was back on the podium for the first time this season as he delivered a blistering second run performance to rise from sixteenth to second on one of the world’s most revered Slalom stages. Remarkably, it was the third time that Ryding had made the podium at Kitzbuehel, having also taken second spot in the 2017 race exactly six years earlier.

In a packed and highly competitive field, Ryding’s first run put him in sixteenth place and with work to do if the race leaders were going to face a challenge from the reigning champion. From the moment he left the gate for this second run, though, it was clear that Ryding wouldn’t relinquish his crown without a fight, putting down a staggeringly fast and technically perfect run that saw him move straight into top spot. In the end, only Switzerland’s Daniel Yule could match Ryding’s endeavours, coming in 0.40s ahead of the Rocket, but 0.31s down on the Brit’s sensational second run time.

Earlier in the competition, Billy Major took an excellent 23rd place finish for his best World Cup finish of the season, while Laurie Taylor just missed out on qualification for the second run.

Incredibly, Ryding’s podium marked Britain’s second snowsport silver of the day, with Mia Brookes earlier delivering on her incredible potential by taking silver in the Laax Open Freestyle Snowboard Slopestyle World Cup. Competing in only her third World Cup competition, having been ineligible through age last season, and the first Slopestyle World Cup of her career, Brookes was in breath-taking form throughout the weekend, qualifying for Finals in top spot before delivering a sensational performance to leave her with a score of 79.91, behind only Beijing Olympic Gold Medallist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand.

Brookes’ World Cup career has now yielded a ninth place, a fifth place, and a runner’s up spot across three World Cups, with the 16-year-old next set to compete in the prestigious X Games competition later this month.

Brookes will be joined at X Games by Freeski sensation Kirsty Muir, who notched yet another World Cup top-10 with sixth place in the Laax Open Freeski Slopestyle World Cup. Muir’s result came through the qualifying rounds as the Final was eventually called off owing to treacherous weather on a weekend beset by challenging conditions. The result gives Muir her eighth World Cup top-10 finish at the age of just 18, with each of her three World Cup competitions this season ending in the top-10.

In the men’s competitions in Laax, Billy Cockrell came 28th in the Snowboard World Cup, while in the Freeski contest Tyler Harding was the pick of the Brits with a 24th place finish, Chris McCormick coming in in 41st, and Tom Greenway in 48th.

Ollie Davies’ World Cup season continued with 17th and 30th placed finishes in Idre Fjall’s back-to-back Ski Cross World Cups, with the first of the two races granting Davies his second best result of the season after his exceptional seventh place finish in the last of 2022’s World Cup races in Innichen, Italy.

While the Para Alpine World Championships suffered schedule changes and delays due to high winds, the Para Nordic World Championships in Ostersund had enjoyed more serene conditions, and a pair of outstanding results for Britain’s sole competitor at this year’s Championships, Scott Meenagh. His fourth and seventh place finishes in the 7.5km Sprint Biathlon and 18km Individual Classic represented an outstanding demonstration of the skill and strength that Meenagh has shown over his years competing for Britain as a Para Nordic sit skier. The Championships are set to continue until 27 January with Meenagh’s form promising more excellent results.

In the Olympic Cross Country discipline, James Clugnet and Andrew Young took a stunning top-10 finish in the Livigno World Cup Team Sprint, with Clugnet also finishing in the top-20 in the Sprint Free race, coming 17th having qualified for Finals in 7th. Andrew Young came in 32nd, just outside of the qualifying sports for the Quarter Finals round.

The Telemark squad saw their first World Cup races of the season deliver a pair of fourth-place finishes for Jaz Taylor in dual sprint races in Carezza, Italy, with Timote Gough also picking up an excellent 12th place finish in the second of the week’s World Cup races.

At the World Junior Alpine Championships, Calum Langmuir picked up the best British men’s result since 2021 with 17th place in the Super-G competition, with an excellent run which saw him looking close to podium form until a tricky few gates near the bottom of the course. Meanwhile, the World University Games saw Britain’s snowsport athletes bank two medals with Scott Johns taking a first ever British WUGS Ski Cross Gold, while Thea Fenwick took bronze in the Freeski Slopestyle event, just ahead of teammate Olivia Burke in fourth. Jay Hebblethwaite also took fourth in the Men’s Freeski Slopestyle, while Ben Carpenter finished 22nd in both Alpine Snowboard Parallel SL and Parallel GS.

The GB Snowsport Results Round-Up is brought to you by Snow+Rock. Header Image credit Sam Mellish

GB Snowsport are delighted to confirm the British squads set to compete at the Para Alpine World Championships and Para Nordic World Championships this month.

In a break from the model set at last year’s Championships, where all Para snowsport disciplines competed in the same location, this year’s World Championships will see the Para Alpine team compete in Spain’s Espot resort, with the Para Nordic Championships taking place in Ostersund, Sweden.

The Para Alpine squad will see Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games medallists Neil Simpson and Menna Fitzpatrick both compete in the VI class, with Simpson partnered with Rob Poth as his guide, and Fitzpatrick once again guided by Katie Guest. Gary Smith will travel as reserve guide.

The Espot Championships will mark Fitzpatrick’s fourth World Championships at the age of just 24, with a tally of eight World Championships medals in her possession, while Simpson will be competing at World Championships level for the second time, having taken silver in the Super Combined in Lillehammer last year.

In the Sitting class, Alex Slegg is set to compete in his second World Championships having made his debut at the delayed Lillehammer 2021 Championships last January.

The Para Nordic World Championships will see Scott Meenagh travel as the sole British competitor after injuries and retirements ruled out the remainder of the squad who travelled to the Paralympic Winter Games last year. Now into his seventh year of competing internationally in Para Nordic, Meenagh will be looking to build on an exceptional 2021/22 season which saw him claim his best result at a Paralympic Winter Games, with sixth place in the long-distance biathlon.

Paralympic Programme Manager, James Redpath, said:

These World Championships are a great opportunity to show again how strong Britain’s Para Snowsport programmes are. We’re fortunate to have some incredible athletes representing the nation in both Championships, at a time where Para Snowsport around the world is getting stronger and stronger.

“It’s been a challenging build-up to the Championships, and we’re really disappointed on behalf of those athletes who miss out this year through injury, but we’re all confident in the teams we’re taking out and look forward to an exciting, competitive Championships.”

Para Alpine World Championships – Espot, Spain – 20-29 January 2023

Visually Impaired Classification

  • Menna Fitzpatrick
  • Katie Guest (Guide)
  • Rob Poth (Guide)
  • Neil Simpson
  • Gary Smith (Reserve Guide)

Sit Ski Classification

  • Alex Slegg

Para Nordic World Championships – Ostersund, Sweden – 20-29 January 2023

  • Scott Meenagh

Header Image: Menna Fitzpatrick competes in the Para Alpine Skiing Women’s Super Combined Super-G Vision Impaired at the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics on March 07, 2022 in Yanqing, China. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

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