A ten-athlete World Cup and FIS Squad will represent British interests on the Telemark circuit for the 2023/24 season
Following the completion of the selection process, Colin Dixon, Timoté Gough, Magnus McIntosh, and Jasmin Taylor have all been confirmed as World Cup Squad members, while Sissi Compton, Alec Dixon, Jamie Dykes, and Josh Wisbey have also been provisionally named in the World Cup Squad pending coach led reviews across the Autumn. Ben Emsley and Bonnie Price are named in the FIS Squad, while for Dykes and Wisbey, the coming season marks their first time selected to the GB Telemark Squad.
The World Cup Squad comes into the new season off the back of a range of excellent results in the 2022/23 season, most notably a fifth in the overall standings and third in Sprint standings for Jaz Taylor alongside a silver medal in Parallel Sprint and bronze in Classic at the World Championships, multiple top-20 World Cup finishes Colin Dixon, consistent top-25 World Cup placings for Magnus McIntosh, and regular top-15 finishes, a fourth place at the World Junior Championships for Tim Gough, and multiple top-20 World Cup finishes and a personal best sixth place in the World junior Championships for Sissi Compton.
Commenting on the Squad selections, Adrian Pery, GB Telemark Discipline Committee Chair said:
“The dedication and determination of our Telemark athletes on and off the slopes is second to none, and every one of the ten athletes selected to represent the nation this season should be enormously proud of everything they have achieved already. The life of a Telemark racer involves huge commitment, and no little sacrifice, and I am certain that they will continue to represent the country with distinction.”
Magnus McIntosh, World Cup Squad member, said:
“I’m delighted to be back on the World Cup squad. I’m looking forward to next season and being back with the team, aiming for some top 15 finishes and more races under my belt.”
Ben Emsley, FIS Squad member, said:
“Telemark skiing is a captivating dance, where free heels and knee-dragging lunges intertwine. It’s an honour to be part of the Telemark family, proudly representing Great Britain on the slopes.”
The Telemark World Cup circuit returns to competition in mid-December, with the first scheduled races of the season due to take place in Pinzolo, Italy. The GB Telemark team were kindly sponsored for the 2022/23 season by dedicated supporters including Leggett Immobilier International, dartbus, Point 6, VOLA, and Maier Sports, whose commitment to the team played a vital role in the outstanding performances delivered across the squad on the World Cup and FIS race circuits, and at the World Championships and World Junior Championships.
World Cup Squad
- Sissi Compton*
- Alex Dixon*
- Colin Dixon
- Jamie Dykes*
- Timoté Gough
- Magnus McIntosh
- Jasmin Taylor
- Josh Wisbey*
- Ben Emsley
- Bonnie Price
*selection pending coach reviews in autumn 2023
20-year-old Telemark World Cup squad member, TImoté Gough, looks back on what he’s learned from the 2022/23 season
My name is Timoté Gough, I’m 20 years old and I am in the GB Telemark Team on the World Cup circuit. Firstly, I just want to thank GB Snowsport for giving me the opportunity to share with you, through a brief review of last season, some of my passion for Telemark skiing, and also some of my experiences in competition.
I wanted to tell you a bit about myself, my season and I also wanted to share a bit of how I look at things and also why I am doing this.
For those that don’t already know, Telemark skiing is the original and oldest form of skiing that came from the Telemark region in Norway. The principle difference between alpine skiing and telemark skiing, is that in telemarking the boot heel is not locked down onto the ski and the boot can flex and bend, much like in cross-country skiing. This is where the ‘Free the Heel, Free the Mind’ catchphrase comes from – in that the heel is completely free when you ski telemark.
I grew up and went to school in Chamonix, France. My father is British and my mother is French. I did some alpine skiing and snowboarding when I was little, but I was never really ‘talented’ and I had never done any competition . When I was 13 years old I tried telemark skiing for the first time with my dad. From my first turn on telemark skis I felt something really different – I felt really able to express myself and found a real sensation of freedom and pleasure that I had not had before in alpine skiing or snowboarding.
For me, whether it was at school or in sports and activities, I know it always takes me a bit longer to learn the basics of something new. I know I am a ‘slow learner’, that’s because I do things a little differently. I need to spend more time on the basics, to get them right – and then I have no doubts and I can 100% focus on doing my best and finding my own way – often by following my gut instinct. School is difficult sometimes because you have to fit into a system that does not really adapt to you; I found in sports there was more freedom to find my own way to do things.
I started telemarking every winter and even though I was not as good as the other kids, as most had started much younger than me and were already at a much higher level, I wanted to do it at every opportunity.. At this stage I was skiing sometimes with the local ski club of Les Houches, Club Multiglisse, which is also where the GB Telemark team is based and trains. I started to ski with the GB team, and I really liked the mentality, approach and openness of the GB team spirit.
In France, at 18 years old you have some choices to make. I had just finished my final school exams, and normally this would be the time to go to university, to an apprenticeship, or to work. I decided to take a year out to think about what I really wanted to do, which initially meant working to put money aside for a winter season of telemarking. At the same time, I spoke to Seb, the GB team coach, and had the opportunity to join the GB Telemark Team for that winter in the World Cup. This opportunity with the GB Telemark Team really helped me define what I really wanted to do and next steps for my future.
My first two seasons with Team GB saw a lot of changes for me. I had to work in the summers to pay for my seasons, and everything was new to me. It was hard work, but really good fun and I made really good progress in those first seasons. With telemark competition though, there is always a lot to learn, and it takes many seasons to really start reaching your real potential.
This last season has been my third with the GB Telemark team in the World Cup, and it has been the toughest season for me so far, but also, I think, the most important one.
I completed a summer season of work with Harsch in Switzerland, working in logistics and removals. Harsch was great to work with, and they are also now one of my sponsors for the winter. The GB Telemark team really needs their sponsors so that the team can compete. We have a number of main sponsors without whom the team wouldn’t be able to exist as we currently do. Like Leggett a real estate company that has followed and helped us for several years, or dartbus a bus company who started supporting us last winter. This help is very precious, thank you to them! Even with that help, most of us still have to work to put the funds aside if we want to complete a full season. It was the first season that I managed to be financially self-sufficient but only just, though it was a great feeling and a big thank you to Harsch and all our sponsors because without them it wouldn’t be possible.
Pre-season training was difficult due to a general lack of snow in the Alps. We had to travel quite a bit to find snow, and I found it hard to get into my normal rhythm and find my sensations on the skis. It did not feel like the ‘unlimited’ kilometers of skiing I was used to, or had been expecting and waiting for all summer long.
The first races started, and I was finding it difficult to really ‘tune’ into the races, which can be normal at the start of the season. The races only last for a couple of minutes, and you have to be able to really put everything into a very short space of time. As the season progressed, I settled down, and I had some races where I felt really dialled in, 100% focused, and I felt I could really give my best. Some races, however, were frustrating – I would feel good and ready at the start, but I was not able to give absolutely 100% and just ‘let go’ every time. Even at the time I knew it was not a problem of a course – but it was me, that sometimes I could not always get my 100% into those few minutes.
Some of the courses were more technical and less a ‘flowing’ style that I preferred. My results were mixed, but more importantly for me, my sensations while skiing were very mixed too. I was not always finding that special feeling of magic and flow that I had always enjoyed in the past seasons. On paper it did not look too bad – but for me, this really made me ask myself what I was doing and why I really wanted to do it.
Despite the ups and downs in how I was feeling about my season, I still managed a 4th place in my last Junior World Cup, and 10th & 11th places in the regular World Cup – but I know that I did not reach the full potential of my season this year.
Many people around any type of competition think of medals and winning as being the most important. For me I think more about what it really means to become and be a ‘champion’. To me this is more than just medals or winning a race. Yes, I want to win races. The real question for me though, is how I do that. Winning in Telemark for me is really about mastering yourself and finding a special magic that makes you feel really free, and lets me ski how I want to. It is also true that in telemark skiing there is a wider range of styles and variations in technique that can all work. When I telemark I really feel a need to ski ‘my own way’, which I was struggling to find in the training and races consistently during the whole season.
Before this last season I always had a steady and clear progression. This season has put that into question a bit for me and has made me ask some hard questions of myself. Skiing is fun – but I am also here to progress and to reach my full potential. I know that I will need to change some things before the next season to achieve what I really want.
I know that most of the changes I need are ones that I need to make in myself. This is easier said than done – and just trying harder or training more is not enough. I need to find and keep that special magic and real pleasure in what I do – both in training and competition. I also need to listen to my ‘gut’ feelings and myself more.
Overall telemarking is a real passion for me. It can be difficult to understand or explain logically why – but I know that I feel really ‘in my place’ with the GB Telemark team. I still have a lot to learn and to improve – but that is the whole point of the team, we are all there to push ourselves.
I think that the main changes I need to make in my skiing for next season is to really find and continue to develop my feelings, sensations, and pleasure, and focus less on just results or thinking about pure ‘performance’. I also need to learn to relax and take, or accept, the risk to let myself ‘go’ more when I ski.
Writing this article has really helped me understand many things, and my last season much more. I am already preparing and training for the next season now. I am working again this summer with Harsch to enable me to ski and compete next year – and I am already really looking forward to the next season and what it will bring.
Charlotte Bankes took brilliant double World Cup wins as Britain’s 2022/23 medal count grew to 39
In her first World Cup competitions since the Bakuriani World Championships, Charlotte Bankes sealed brilliant back-to-back World Cup gold medals in the Sierra Nevada Snowboard Cross World Cup. The results mean she has now taken victory in each of the last four World Cup races and leaves her top of the 2023 Snowboard Cross Cup Standings, with 478 points to Chloe Trespeuch’s 460.
In both races, Bankes held off a strong challenge from Trespeuch, with the French Snowboard Cross star taking silver on each occasion, leaving the race for the Crystal Globe in the balance as the season moves towards its conclusion.
The men’s races, meanwhile, saw Huw Nightingale finish in 48th place.
There was also good news from the Para Snowboard Snowboard Cross races at the La Molina World Championships, where Nina Sparks took an excellent bronze medal in the opening weekend of the Championships. James Barnes-Miller and Ollie Hill were left empty handed after the opening races of the competition, but with Dual Banked Slalom races still to come, Britain has a chance to add further to an already excellent World Championships haul this season.
Sparks’ and Bankes’ results pushed Britain’s World Championships, World Cup, and X Games medal haul for the season to a scarcely believable 39 with podiums in every single discipline across the winter.
At Europa Cup level, Mateo Jeannesson took a superb Dual Moguls victory at the Engadin Europa Cup competition. One of the youngest competitors in the field, Jeannesson’s victory was the second time he’s climbed the podium this season, after victory in the Hintertux Open in November. Mateo’s brother, Tom, finished in 15th in Dual Moguls following a superb fourth place in Single Moguls a day earlier.
There was disappointment in Alpine at the Are World Cup for Charlie Guest and at the Kranjska Gora World Cup for Charlie Raposo, with each posting a DNF amid tricky race conditions.
In Telemark, Jazmin Taylor recorded the third World Cup podium of her season with bronze at the Krvavec Sprint World Cup, while in Cross Country Andrew Musgrave finished just outside of the top-10 with an 11th place finish in the Oslo World Cup 50km F Mass Start, which saw a remarkable Norwegian clean sweep of the top-10 places. Joe Davies, meanwhile, took a superb victory at the NCAA Championships with first place in the 10km F before a very promising sixth in the 20km C Mass Start.
This International Women’s Day, we look at women blazing a trail for GB Snowsport this season
By any measure – and with a few weeks of competition still to go – the 2022-23 season has been a spectacular success for British skiers and snowboarders. And in a year of unprecedented successes, one thing is clear – British women are etching their name into national snowsport history time and time again. This International Women’s Day, we take a closer look at the female athletes blazing a trail for GB Snowsport this season.
Where else to begin, except with perhaps the biggest breakout star in British sport this year? Mia Brookes’ name has been spoken with awe and excitement for years now by those in the know, but on her first season on the World Cup circuit the 16 year old’s raw promise has emerged as fully-fledged success.
From a podium on her Slopestyle World Cup debut in Laax in January to her breathtaking Slopestyle World Championships victory in Bakuriani this month, Mia is fast emerging as one of the most exciting sport talents in Britain. Plus, she’s already written her name into the history books as the first woman to land a cab-1440 in competition.
You could be forgiven for thinking Zoe Atkin has been around forever – 2023 is, after all, her fifth year on the World Cup circuit. But the 20-year-old Freeski Halfpipe sensation has really come into her own this year, a rise she puts down in part to giving herself a mental break after the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing last year. And the results speak for themselves: Gold at X Games 2023, and a brace of silvers at the Bakuriani World Championships and Mammoth Mountain World Cup since the turn of the year.
Zoe’s result in Bakuriani saw her follow in sister Izzy’s footseteps be taking back-to-back World Championships medals, having previously taken bronze at the 2021 World Championships.
What is there to say about Charlotte Bankes, which hasn’t already been said? The reigning Snowboard Cross Crystal Globe holder remains a near-permanent fixture on the World Cup podium, but perhaps more impressive is her resilience and dedication in the face of adversity.
Elimination in the individual Snowboard Cross World Championships contest could have knocked any athlete from their stride, but Charlotte returned alongside Huw Nightingale to deliver a stunning Team Snowboard Cross World Championships title, the first in British history, and ensure she goes down as a back-to-back World Champion, having taken the solo title in 2021.
At 18, Kirsty Muir is already recognised as one of the finest Slopestyle and Big Air skiers in world snowsport, and her performances this year have done nothing to undermine that reputation. Whether it’s double bronze medals at X Games 2023, World Cup silver at Mammoth Mountain in February, or a fourth place that left her agonisingly close to a Big Air medal at the Bakuriani World Championships having suffered an injury ahead of the Slopestyle competition that left any question of participation at the Championships up in the air, Kirsty’s continued excellence marks her out as one of the world’s best despite her young age.
In a remarkable season for the Para Snowboard squad, Nina Sparks has shown her promise with a superb overall victory in the Europa Cup competition. In landing the overall title, she joined fellow teammates James Barnes-Miller and Ollie Hill in taking overall titles, with her two compatriots doing so on their respective World Cup circuits.
In a season full of breakthrough performances, the biggest challenges still lie ahead, with the rescheduled La Molina World Championships getting underway this week, and offering another opportunity for Nina to show her talent on the biggest stages.
Menna Fitzpatrick and Katie Guest
Winter Olympic gold medalist. Three time World Champion. Multiple World Cup medalist. Britain’s most decorated Winter Paralympian. And still just 24 years old.
Menna Fitzpatrick is a phenomenon, and her performances alongside her guide, Katie Guest, this season have continued to show why she is so highly respected on the Para Alpine circuit. Another two medals – a silver and a bronze – at the Para Alpine World Championships added to a medal collection which is near unsurpassed in any British winter sport. A legend of the sport, and an icon in British Paralympic history.
Makayla Gerken Schofield
A trailblazer alongside her siblings, Makayla became the second Gerken Schofield (after her brother, Tom) to achieve a World Cup podium with her bronze medal in Val St Come earlier this year, and the first woman in British history to achieve a Moguls World Cup podium.
Indeed, so exceptional have Makayla’s performances been this season that she has only once dipped below the top-10 on the World Cup stage, before delivering another pair of top-10s including a stunning sixth place in Dual Moguls at the Bakuriani World Championships. A fierce competitor, and a superb talent.
One of the most pre-eminent names in the world of Telemark skiing, Jaz Taylor’s performances this season have added another two World Cup podiums to her already astonishing tally of performances over recent seasons.
With World Championships also on the horizon, Jaz has every opportunity to continue her role as one of Britain’s pre-eminent snowsport athletes.