As thoughts turn towards pre-season, we look back at an historic 2021/22 season for GB Snowsport athletes
As a season of record-breaking highs and heart-breaking disappointments draws to a close, the British snowsport scene can look back on a year where the history books were rewritten, even as we felt the joy and the despair of an Olympic and Paralympic Games like no other.
In Beijing, British athletes battled covid restrictions, challenging snow conditions, crashes, injuries, and disruption, and returned home with pride, disappointment, new successes, agonising defeats and, from the Paralympic squad, six medals from the Alpine and Snowboard events. But those are results that only tell a fraction of the story.
26 World Cup and World Championship podiums
On the World Cup and World Championships stages, British athletes took 26 podiums with Charlotte Bankes’ Crystal Globe winning Snowboard Cross season and Dave Ryding’s history-making Slalom victory in Kitzbuehel leading the way. Europa Cup contests added another 25, including four for the remarkable Mia Brookes, each a victory, and all before she has turned 16 years of age. FIS level races saw British athletes notch another 12 podiums, including seven victories, in Alpine, Freeski, Snowboard and Ski Cross. World Championships and World Junior Championships, meanwhile, accounted for an additional nine. On podium places alone, British skiers and snowboarders at every level, are showing themselves among the world’s best athletes.
And off the slopes, yet more progress has been made. New partners in Redrow, Fusalp, and Williams Advanced Engineering have helped to grow the sport at home and overseas. More work is underway to champion equality and diversity at every level. Efforts to bring our sport closer to people at home have taken root.
Highs and lows in Beijing
We cannot, though, forget the frustration felt in Beijing. For the Olympic squad to return without a medal was a disappointment given the good form of so many athletes going into the Games, but even among the sense of missed opportunities there were green shoots to be found. Kirsty Muir’s Olympic debut hinted at the promise her talent holds, Makayla Gerken-Schofield’s best-ever Moguls result for a British Olympic skier, and Zoe Atkin’s top-10 in the Halfpipe all showed a core of young talent with their best years ahead of them.
Even as the emotions of defeat were present, so the grit and determination among the team came to the fore, whether in Leonie Gerken-Schofield’s ability to get back up again and put down a run after a fall in the Moguls, Charlotte Bankes’ breath-taking display of overtaking in the Snowboard Cross Team event after her shock elimination in the Women’s competition, or Gus Kenworthy’s determination to finish his Olympic career with a clean run after a bone-shuddering fall in the Halfpipe Finals.
Where Olympic results didn’t deliver a medal, the Paralympic squad was a regular fixture on the podium throughout the Games. Its six medals – one gold, one silver, and four bronze – came through a mix of old hands (Millie Knight and Menna Fitzpatrick both adding to their remarkable Paralympic records) and new blood (medals on debut for Neil Simpson and, for Ollie Hill a first ever British Paralympic snowboarding medal), and built on a World Championships that saw Britain return home with seven medals from Lillehammer.
A new cycle begins
As one four-year cycle draws to a close another begins, and eyes are already beginning to turn to Milan-Cortina, the venue for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. As plans for that cycle begin to take shape both the current and the next generation of British stars are making an ever-stronger mark.
As a country and as a Governing Body, we are still at the beginning of our journey to become one of the world’s leading snowsport nations. Results aside, the performance standard for British snowsport athletes has increased dramatically in the four years since the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, with the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic squads the strongest a British team has ever sent to a Winter Games. These are the levels that athletes will now have to meet and exceed as Milan-Cortina approaches, and the potential that a new generation of skiers and snowboarders is showing gives us reason for optimism.
In Snowboard Cross, the first Crystal Globe of Charlotte Bankes’ career shows the depth and consistency of her talent, with Huw Nightingale also enjoying a breakthrough season, while Ski Cross prospects are encouraging with Ollie Davies and Max Vaughton both making an impact this year.
In Alpine, Charlie Guest continues to go from strength-to-strength, with repeated forays into World Cup top-20 spots, while Reece Bell’s long-awaited World Cup debut has arrived, and Charlie Raposo has delivered the best British men’s performances in Giant Slalom for decades.
The Para Nordic squad has grown in stature with a series of career-best performances over the season hinting at the potential to come, while in the Para Snowboard ranks new talent continues to break through with Ollie Hill, Nina Sparks, and Jon-Allan Butterworth all bolstering British hopes at the highest levels.
Mateo Jeannesson’s development in Moguls has catapulted him to the top of the podium.
Mia Brookes looks ready to conquer the world after a season which saw her take eight wins and one runner up spot from nine FIS, Europa Cup and Junior World Championship event entries.
The country’s Freeski prospects look encouraging, with Kirsty Muir, Zoe and Izzy Atkin, Connie Brogden, and Tyler Harding all showing promise this year.
Britain’s Kitzbuehel King
The future, then, looks in good hands. But in the present, the 2021/22 season leaves behind a moment that will never be forgotten in British snowsport history. As the man himself said, “I remember in the past comments like ‘Ah, I’ve been beaten by a Brit’, or calling us an ‘exotic’ nation. Those comments have gone pretty quiet now. I’ve always said to the younger generation that it’s possible; I don’t have to say that anymore. I can just put the video on and say: ‘watch that’.”
A victory to showcase a great sportsman’s talent, and to mark Britain’s place on the global snowsport map.
Header image: Charlie Guest at Schladming World Cup, January 2022. Photo: GEPA pictures/ David Geieregger
Katie Summerhayes ended the World Cup season with her best result of the year, while Ollie Davies, Alannah Lawrie, Laurie Taylor and Rob Poth all grabbed podium places
Beijing 2022 teammates Katie Summerhayes and Kirsty Muir were back in World Cup action this weekend, with each taking a top-8 spot in the Freeski Slopestyle World Cup in Silvaplana, Switzerland. Muir, who hasn’t once finished outside of the top-8 this season, took sixth with a score of 64.50, while for Summerhayes her 76.00 was enough to secure fourth spot and with it her best result of the season.
In the Men’s Freeski Slopestyle World Cup, Chris McCormick took 12th spot to record his second best result this season after his stunning seventh in Stubai in November, while Tyler Harding came in in 47th spot.
Silvaplana also saw the world’s best snowboarding talent in action, with Katie Ormerod finishing up in eighth spot in Slopestyle. Maisie Hill was also back in World Cup action after her outstanding WC debut last week, this time taking 19th spot. In the Men’s competition, Billy Cockrell was also in action, finishing up in 33rd spot.
In Ski Cross, Ollie Davies banked a pair of excellent results in Les Contamines with victory in the French National Championships followed up with ninth spot in the weekend’s Europa Cup races. Davies’ NC victory marks his first time at the top of the podium since victory in the Junior World Ski Championships back in 2018, while his Europa Cup top-10 equals his best World Cup finish of the season from earlier this month in Veysonnaz. Alannah Lawrie also saw a week of encouraging Ski Cross results, with third place in the FIS race at Albrechtice v Jizerskych horach, Czechia, followed by 11th and 16th place Europa Cup finishes in Les Contamines, alongside an 18th place in the National Championships race.
In Alpine, Owen Vinter’s pair of Super-G victories on the first day of the GB Alpine Championships marked a standout performance from the young Brit, while World Cup squad member Laurie Taylor took an excellent second place finish in the Slalom at the Swiss National Championships in Seefeld. Rob Poth, meanwhile, took his first ever FIS race victory with first place in the Slalom in Rogla, Slovenia.
At the European Youth Olympic Festival in Vuokatti, Finland, Koby Cook came an excellent fifth in the Freestyle Snowboard Slopestyle, the result following his 24th place finish in the earlier Big Air contest.
Mateo Jeannesson’s excellent late-season form continued, meanwhile, coming fifth at the Moguls World Junior Championships in Chiesa, Italy, while in Snowboard Cross Huw Nightingale came in eighth in the Europa Cup races in Lenk, Switzerland, before finishing up in 25th in the Swiss National Championships.
The weekly GB Snowsport results summary is presented in association with Snow+Rock
Header Image: Ollie Davies competing this month. Photo: GEPA pictures/ Daniel Goetzhaber
Podiums and landmark results were the order of the week, as Britain’s ski and snowboard stars continued their charge in the late stages of the 2021/22 season
Charlotte Bankes’ Crystal Globe winning season drew to a close in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, where, with her parents in attendance, she recorded her fifth Snowboard Cross World Cup victory of a dominant season.
At the site of her second ever World Cup victory back in 2017, Bankes was in typically assured form to win out ahead of Faye Gulini of the US and French boarder Manon Petit-Lenoir, who made the podium for only the second time in her career. The result leaves Bankes with 669 World Cup points this season, comfortably clear of her nearest rivals, Italian Michela Moioli with 501 and France’s Chloe Trespeuch on 464, and means Bankes’ World Cup season records reads: eight races, seven podiums, five victories.
Also in Veysonnaz this weekend, Ollie Davies banked the best World Cup result of his Ski Cross career with a superb ninth placed finish on Saturday. The result marks the first time Davies has broken into a World Cup top-10 spot, having come close at Val Thorens in December where he finished up in 11th. In a gripping contest, Davies fought hard through every turn to lay down a marker as thoughts begin to turn to next season’s race calendar.
Congratulations to @olliedavies73 on a brilliant 9️⃣th place in Veysonnaz!
— GB Snowsport (@GBSnowsport) March 19, 2022
Meanwhile, British interests in Ski Cross FIS level competition were boosted by excellent results for Greg Baillie and Patrick Young who took fifth and tenth spots respectively in Albrechtice v Jizerskych in Czechia.
In Alpine, Dave Ryding’s history-making season drew to a close at the World Cup Finals in Courchevel/Meribel. Skiing in bib 1, Ryding was well placed in sixth at the turn, before a tricky second run saw him finish up in 21st spot in a season which will be chiefly remembered for his historic World Cup victory in Kitzbuehel in January, and his exceptional second place finish in Garmisch-Partenkirchen a month later.
"We still call this man 𝐒𝐢𝐫 𝐃𝐚𝐯𝐞" ⚔️
— Eurosport (@eurosport) March 20, 2022
Having finished his own World Cup season last week, Laurie Taylor returned to Alpine Europa Cup action with his fourth top-10 finish of the season, an excellent eighth place in the Soldeu Europa Cup.
Mia Brookes added yet another Freestyle Snowboard competition victory to her astonishing season, with first place in the Laax European Cup Premium Slopestyle competition. The result means of Brookes’ nine competitions across Slopestyle and Big Air this season, only one has ended without her on top of the podium, that ending in a second-place finish. In the men’s competition, Jamie Nicholls returned to FIS competition for the first time in 18 months to record his first podium since taking a World Cup third place in Czechia in 2017. His third-place finish came as the eldest competitor in the starting line-up and capped a remarkable return to competitive Freestyle Snowboard for the two-time Olympian.
At Spindleruv Mlyn, Czechia, 21-year-old Maisie Hill made her Freestyle Snowboard World Cup debut with an excellent seventh-place finish in the Slopestyle competition. Qualifying from tenth spot, Hill banked an excellent 58.50 in the Final to secure an exceptional result. Joining her in the Final was Katie Ormerod, in her first World Cup appearance since the Beijing Olympic Winter Games, her score of 35.75 good enough to finish up just one place behind her teammate, Hill, in eighth.
In the men’s competition, Billy Cockrell also made his first World Cup appearance since January, taking 28th place in the Men’s Slopestyle Finals.
In Moguls, Mateo Jeannesson took the first podiums of his career in with two astonishing Europa Cup performances in Livigno, Italy. A brilliant third place in the Single Moguls on Wednesday was bettered by a breath-taking victory in the Dual Moguls the next day, as one of the youngest athletes in the field. During an excellent season which also saw Jeannesson take two top-10 spots in Krispl, Austria, and Bad Wiessee, Germany, the two results in Livigno mark him out as a skier to watch in the coming years.
What an epic couple of days for Mateo Jeannesson at the Livigno Moguls Europa Cup!
🥇 Dual Moguls
— GB Snowsport (@GBSnowsport) March 17, 2022
Finally, in Telemark, Jaz Taylor’s superb season continued with another two World Cup podiums in Krvavec, Slovenia, where she took third place in the Classic and second place in the Sprint, before finishing the weekend’s competition with fourth place in the Parallel Sprint.
The weekly GB Snowsport results summary is presented in association with Snow+Rock
Header Image: Charlotte Bankes celebrates at Veysonnaz World Cup, March 2022 Photo: GEPA pictures/ Daniel Goetzhaber
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.
Big result for this man today, as @musgraveandrew banked a World Cup top🔟 in the 15km in Falun.
Making. Every. Drop. Of. Effort. Count.💪🏼🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/fOZ7CYEy4A
— GB Snowsport (@GBSnowsport) March 12, 2022
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.
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
Charlotte Bankes confirms her status as the world’s leading Snowboard Cross athlete with Crystal Globe
Charlotte Bankes, Britain’s World Champion Snowboard Cross racer, wrapped up the 21/22 Crystal Globe with victory at the Reiteralm World Cup this afternoon, giving her an unassailable lead in the season’s standings.
Competing in her first World Cup race since the disappointment of the Beijing Olympic Winter Games, Bankes showed her class at the first opportunity, qualifying for the Finals in first place before coming through the elimination stages to take her fourth victory and sixth podium in seven World Cup contests this season. Her victory today, to go alongside those recorded in Montafon in December, and in back-to-back World Cups in Krasnoyarsk in January, means that only the Cervinia World Cup in December has seen Bankes miss out on a podium spot.
Bankes’ victory, ahead of Italy’s Michaela Moioli and Audrey McManiman of Canada, confirmed that neither Moioli, nor Chloe Trespeuch of France can overhaul her at the head of the World Cup standings, securing her the first Crystal Globe of her career.
Speaking afterwards, Bankes said:
“The Crystal Globe has always been a dream for me but really didn’t know if I’d ever manage to get the consistency to be able to fight for it.
“With the start to the season I had, it became a goal and I’m just so happy and proud of what we’ve done as a team to achieve it certainly after the disappointment of the Olympics.
“Knowing I’ve secured the globe is amazing but I’ve still got a World Cup in Veysonnaz and I’m looking forward to another great battle with the girls to finish this amazing season.”
Header Image: Charlotte Bankes competing in the Schladming World Cup, March 2022 . Photo: GEPA pictures/ Harald Steiner
The first ever Olympic Mixed Team Snowboard Cross event saw some strong racing from the British team
After disappointment in the individual competitions, Charlotte Bankes and Huw Nightingale returned to Genting Snow Park last night to record an excellent sixth place finish in the first ever Mixed Team Snowboard Cross event at an Olympic Winter Games.
Coming safely through the Quarter Finals, the British pair were squeezed out in the Semi Finals before taking 2nd in the Small Final behind the German team of Martin Noerl and Jana Fischer to take sixth overall.
Speaking after the race, Charlotte Bankes said:
“I’m not quite over [the individual event] but I’ve been coming out here with the team today and the team’s worked amazingly well to get me back on it.
“It was good motivation to just have a good race today and not focus on what’s happened beforehand.
“Huw’s been riding really well and I’m really proud of how he’s done.
“I saw Huw make a mistake at the start but he didn’t give up and he pushed until the end and that’s great.
“I think it’s something we all need to learn from, to never give up and push to the end and think the team brings that on as well.
“Just pushing to try and do the best that we can is what they’ve taught us, and we didn’t give up, we pushed as hard as we could and that’s good.”
Huw Nightingale said:
“I came here with nothing to lose. To do a small final here with Charlotte is just a great achievement for me.
“She’s taught me loads of things. Through the whole preseason she’s just helped me through everything so it’s very appreciated.”
Header Image: Huw Nightingale for Team GB in the Men’s Snowboard Cross Seeding Run 2 at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on the 10th February 2022 at Genting Snow Park in Zhangjakou, China. Photo by Sam Mellish / Team GB.
The first ever Olympic Snowboard Cross Mixed Team event will see Charlotte Bankes and Huw Nightingale return to the snow
Mixed Team Snowboard Cross
Charlotte Bankes and Huw Nightingale will be part of Olympic history as they set out in the first ever Snowboard Cross Mixed Team event at an Olympic Winter Games.
The event gets underway at 2:00am with the Semi-Finals following at 2:30am before the Small and Big Finals from 2:50am
Watch on: Eurosport and the BBC
Huw Nightingale arrived at the Olympic Winter Games just months on from his first appearances on the World Cup circuit
Nightingale’s SBX Debut
20-year-old Huw Nightingale made his Olympic debut three months to the day since taking his first bow on the World Cup stage.
Qualifying in 29th position after the two seeding runs, Nightingale bowed out at the 1/8 Final stage on a valiant first showing at the highest levels of the sport.
Nightingale is set to return alongside Charlotte Bankes in the Mixed Team Event, scheduled to begin at 2:00am on Saturday.
Header Image: Huw Nightingale on the Snowboard Cross course at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on the 10th February 2022 at Genting Snow Park in Zhangjakou, China. Photo by Sam Mellish / Team GB.
Huw Nightingale is set to make his Olympic debut on a quieter day for British snowsport athletes in Beijing
Men’s Snowboard Cross
20-year-old Huw Nightingale‘s Olympic debut will come at the Genting Snow Park as he steps out for the Snowboard Cross seeding rounds from 3:15am, with the knock-out rounds beginning at 6:00am
Watch on: Eurosport and the BBC
Header Image: Huw Nightingale at World Cup Schruns, December 2021 Photo: GEPA pictures/ Patrick Steiner